Despite being primed for cooking and Thanksgiving prep yesterday, I spent Saturday almost devoid of kitchen contact. I'm not much of a shopper, but somehow became trapped for hours in the pre-holiday retail gauntlet, much to my chagrin. Consequently, a single serving of miso soup was the lone result of what should have been a more extensive round of cooking.
To add a touch of sparkle to this rather dull confession, I leave you with a brief mention of the candied orange peel I made a few days ago. The process was very simple, albeit a little time-consuming, and the patience will paid off in a jar-full of bright, glittery, sugary citrus bits. Below is a simplified description of what I did.
Candied Orange Peel (printable recipe)
Yields approximately 2 cups
4 organic navel oranges, rinsed well (to rid the fruit of wax coating)
2 1/4 c evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 c water
Remove the peel from the oranges and cut it into 1/4" strips. Save the flesh for other use. Place the peels in a pot and add just enough water to cover, bring it to a boil, then drain. Repeat the process twice, drain the peels, and set aside.
In a large pot, combine 2 cups of the evaporated cane juice with the water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Heat the sugar-water mixture over medium flame until the temperature reaches approximately 230 degrees Fahrenheit ("thread stage"). Add the peels, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, until the peels are translucent. Remove from heat and carefully arrange the peels on a wire rack to dry for several hours or overnight. While still tacky, roll the peels (a handful at a time) in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, gently shaking off excess crystals. Return the peels to the wire rack to dry completely. Enjoy!
I'm sure this process can be used with other citrus peels; candied lemon or lime peels sound like tasty variations. I have not yet decided how to use the sugared strips, but I imagine they would be lovely as both a decorative and tangy-sweet addition to various cakes, scones, and the like.