Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Citrus Peel Epoch

Cooking Adventure: Candied Citrus Peel
Source: Good Housekeeping Cookbook
The Bellydance Soundtrack: Greek Belly Dance Routine by Anto & Yervant
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

While I'm not quite in the age bracket for the Good Housekeeping magazine yet, I bow down in worship to their cookbooks. I'm not completely in the know-how when it comes to basic cooking techniques, and I always seem to forget the ratio of water to rice. With these things in mind, the Good Housekeeping cookbook has a veritable vocabulary for the culinary adventurer.

I had to pop in my Greek music for this one. Why? Because I was cooking with portokali's, which led me to think of Portokalos, which led me to think of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", so, there you go. Sometimes we spend so much time cooking for our own physical survival, that we just need to change things up and cook because we can. And boy, does this recipe call for some cooking! It's not complicated in ingredients or techniques, just in its steps. I boiled the peel three separate times, boiled sugar water up to a specific temperature, simmered and stirred for an hour, and then let the peels dry overnight. The lesson here: don't make these expecting to eat them right away. The other lesson here: This recipe makes 2 pounds of candy. Good amount for parties; way too much for one person.

3.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups water
5 medium navel oranges (I don't really think it matters what kind of orange you use.)

1. Score the oranges into quarters & carefully remove the peel. Cut the peel into 1/4 inch strips.
2. Put the orange peels in a deep pot and cover with water. Heat to boiling, boil for 5 minutes, and drain peels well. Do this 2 more times.
3. In a separate deep saucepan mix in the water & 2.5 cups of the sugar. Heat to boiling and allow sugar to dissolve completely.
4. With a candy thermometer, heat until temperature reads between 230-234 degrees Fahrenheit (Takes about 15 minutes). At this point, stir in the orange peel until well-coated with sugar mixture.
5. Reduce heat and partially cover. Allow to simmer until the orange peels have absorbed all the sugar mixture - about 1 hour stirring every 10 minutes or so.
6. Sprinkle remaining sugar on a strip of wax paper. Using tongs to handle the peels (They're REALLY sticky!) coat them in sugar. Place on wax paper or wire wrack to cool and dry overnight.

Peels can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to a month.

They come out tasting almost exactly like those gummi orange slices you find at Walgreens and gas stations, but I suspect these are a tad bit healthier. Well, as healthy as something coated and soaked in sugar water can be.

For Next Time: I don't know how big a fan I am of the 1/4inch strips. They come out looking a bit like gummy worms. The next go around I'm using mini cookie cutters and doing shapes. I'd also like to switch it up and make it more colorful with some lemons and limes.

1 comment:

TickleTeckla said...

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