01 March 2011

sweet and simple

Why haven't I ever made candied orange peels before? So simple and so sweet.  I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but we're part of a CSA here in California (which is still weird to say) and it's one of the best decisions we could have made. Oh the bounty each week! As it is winter, we've had a lot of root veggies, as expected. What I wasn't prepared for was all of the citrus, I know it's the season but on the East coast everything is shipped in so, if you're buying locally you don't have total access to it. 

For the past few weeks, we've been getting pound of navel oranges and like I pointed out, we have an orange tree in our backyard and man are those puppies good. Long story short, I candied some orange peels and here's how.

I took two medium to large oranges and peeled them, I washed the oranges before I did any of this, duh. Take a small paring knife and get rid of some of pith, that white stuff on the inside of the peel. Then into a pot of cold water that just covers the peels. Bring to a boil for about 15 minutes, then drain and rinse and do this again, they need a bath BIG time. Then, three cups of water, two cup granulated sugar and one cup light brown sugar bring this to a boil.  Stirring often so that the sugar dissolves. I think next time I do this, I might divide the sugars (1.5 of each), the brown sugar gives the orange a real hardy flavor. Once this comes to a boil, put peels in pot and bring back to a boil then reduce and simmer for about 45 minutes.  While this is boiling, mix together 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup light brown sugar. Cooks note: I would use 1/4 cup of each...this time around felt like a lot of sugar.  Drain the peels, don't rinse them, then put them back in a bowl and toss with the sugar.  Go on, toss 'em with your hands...it'll make you feel very connected with your sugary sweets. Once coated, spread the peels out on a cookie rack over a baking sheet.  

The drying process will take a day or two, you can try them as they are drying to make sure they aren't dry yet. Then, pop them in a cute mason jar you have lying around the house and snack on or chop up and add to oatmeal, yogurt, whatever. You can also add them to muffins or quickbreads. Sweet - and I mean seriously.

Finished product

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