Shhhh! I'm busy peeling and simmering orange and grapefruit rinds for gifts for our family Christmas next weekend. (LOL...no, I'm not worried the kids'll look here this week--they're glad I do this 'genealogy thing', but HH is not a regular online stop for either of them. My secret is safe ☺).
|Bottom right-a finished batch; |
the 2 jars behind that are leftover syrup...
but WHO drinks that much iced tea,
like the recipe suggests? ☺
Mom always made loads of wonderful Christmas candy--fudge, peanut brittle, red and green anise candy, something called Klondike--as well as whatever new recipe caught her fancy that year. There were melt-in-yer-mouth combos of almond bark, maraschino cherries, nuts, chocolate, coconut and marshmallows...mmm! But candied peelings? No...altho I think she would have loved the taste, this would have been a bit too putzy for not enough yield.
This cook's note: Dipping each piece in nice dark chocolate makes the difference between pretty good candy and something IRRESISTIBLE.
- 6 thick-skinned Valencia or navel oranges
- 3 1/2 cups sugar, plus extra for rolling
- 1 1/2 cups water
Cut tops and bottoms off of the orange and score the orange into quarters, cutting down only into the peel and not into the fruit. Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces, use the orange for another recipe. Cut the peel into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat. Then pour off the water. Repeat 1 or 2 more times depending up how assertive you want the orange peels to be. (Test kitchen liked the texture of a 3 timeblanch best, it also mellowed the bitterness. But it is a matter of preference.) Remove the orange peels from the pan.
Whisk the sugar with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 minutes (If you took the sugar's temperature with a candy thermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 230 to 234 degrees F.) Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a simmer. Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 minutes. Resist the urge to stir the peels or you may introduce sugar crystals into the syrup. If necessary, swirl the pan to move the peels around. Drain the peels, (save the syrup for ice tea.) Roll the peels in sugar and dry on a rack, for 4 to 5 hours. Return to the sugar to store.
Note to self for next year: peel the fruit with your fingers after it's scored. Get both thumbs under the skin and push it off the orange. Also, since this leaves so much fruit that needs using, I got the blender out and pureed it with canned peaches and ripe bananas. Makes a nice breakfast drink.
Still, I froze 2/3 of it.