Sunday, April 8, 2012

candied peel

Joyeuse Pâques! Happy Easter!

Yesterday I made candied orange and lemon peel. This morning I dipped it in chocolate and wrapped it up for Easter presents.

Candied Peel
The general ratio of fruit : sugar : water = 8.5 ounces of water + 4.5 ounces of sugar to 1 orange.
3 small limes = 1 orange
2 small lemons = 1 orange
2 oranges = 1 grapefruit

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 5 hours

4 oranges
4 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups organic sugar + 1/2 cup sugar for dredging
juice of 2 medium lemons, strained

Use a sharp knife or citrus peeler to score the peels of each fruit into quarters. Peel the fruits carefully so as to keep the peels intact as much as possible. Set the peeled fruit aside and reserve for something else. Cut away the bitter white pith from the underside of the peels. the remaining peel should be about 1/8 inch thick, Don't worry if small amounts of pith remain. It's kind of nice to have some thicker peels.

Slice the peels into 1/2 inch strips.

Combine the water, 2 1/2 cups sugar, and the lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed pot set on medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and heat, uncovered, until the mixture boils for 5 minutes. Add the strips of peel and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered and simmering, until the syrup reduces to a quarter its original volume. It should barely cover the peel. Don't stir it as it simmers as it can cause the formation of large crystals. The process should take about 2 hours.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. Strain in a colander.
Place a layer of parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Pour about 1/2 cup organic granulated sugar onto a plate. Remove each piece of peel and dredge some of them lightly in the sugar. It's nice to have some sugared and some not. Lay the peel on the paper in rows. Leave 1 hour uncovered and then cover with thin, slightly damp tea towels overnight. This will give the peel time to dry.

For the Chocolate
Place 1/2 cup Callebaut or another high quality dark chocolate in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly for the first minute or so and remove the pan from the heat before the chocolate is fully melted. Continue stirring until it's entirely smooth. Dip each piece of peel part way into the chocolate and lay in rows on the parchment paper. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Store in a lidded container, one layer on another, with waxed paper between.


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