Christmas just wouldn't be complete if I didn't candy orange peel to dip in chocolate, and also make fig salami. And if you are one of the lucky recipients, I hope you're not bored of them yet!
My slight obsession for candying orange peel started when I worked at Yetman's Restaurant, I think the recipe we used was from a Jane Grayson book. We would add the peel to biscuits and also dip it in dark chocolate to serve with coffee. Although the recipes we used then was good, the peel never lasted long. We would always find it had gone mouldy even in an air tight tin.
I've tried many other recipes since, often concocting my own methods with OK results but more often, it would turn out too hard or too soft. But the one recipe that has worked the best is from the excellent book, Preserved by Jonny Acton and Nick Sandler. The reason this recipe seems to work, is because it takes about 5 days of consuming huge amounts of sugar and also has a dose of glucose syrup in the final boil up.
I often struggle to follow a recipe and that, combined with my inability to understand anything numeric, means my food measuring can be a little hap-hazard. The quantity of peel required in the Preserved book is a little on the industrial size, so I have subtracted and divided to the best of my ability and come up with a recipe that seems to work just fine.
Candied Orange Peel
Approx 6 organic or un-waxed oranges, scrubbed and quartered. The peel should weigh about 600g.
Approx 1 kg sugar (granulated or caster)
Approx 150g glucose syrup
- Cut most of the flesh from the peel. I like to leave some flesh on as it makes the strips more succulent once they are dipped in chocolate.
- Add the peel to large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 mins.
- Drain, and repeat above process.
- Drain again. Keeping the peel in pan, and add approx 600g sugar. Cover with water until peel is just submerged. Heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved and simmer for 30mins.
- Turn off the heat and let the peel cool in the pan with a lid on.
- Remove the peel with a slotted spoon and add 100g of sugar.
- Bring to the boil then return the peel to the pan.
- Turn off heat and replace lid.
Day 3 and 4
- Repeat above process
- Repeat above process, only you use 150g of glucose syrup instead of sugar and boil rapidly for 20mins or until reduced by half. Then place the peel in the pan and leave for a few a few hours.
- Using tongs, remove pan from peel and lay out on drying/cooling
racks or silicone paper to dry for up to 4 days or until it's lost a
lot of it's moisture. You can also place in very cool oven if you want to speed things up.
- Wrap it in a silicone paper, then put it in air tight box and store somewhere cool - it should last for months.
- If you want to try tempering the chocolate to get that glossy, professional chocolatier look, good luck. To my utter annoyance, I seem to fail every time, and I do try every time.