To be quite frank, I never thought I’d be making candied peel from scratch.
I assumed this was a job best left to professional cooks, who know their way around
pots of lava-scaulding syrups and get the job done with minimal bodily harm.
This was until I went to buy some…
A bag of (I counted them!) 9, thin, slivers of delightfulness…16 $!
When I figured out that each little candy cost 1.77 $ I was quickly convinced to have a go.
Turns out my chef brother was right when he told me that, albeit a little laborious, the recipe is really quite simple.
The following ingredients will yield about 50 pieces …at 1.77 each… That would be 88.50 $! Convinced yet?….
3 Large Organic Oranges
750 gr of caster sugar
25 ml (1/8 of a cup) white wine vinegar
200 gr 70% Dark Chocolate
Start this recipe a day ahead.
Carefully peel your oranges, scraping off all of, or at least most of, the white pith (it’s very bitter)
Cut into long strips, place them in a pot with enough water to cover them and bring to the boil.
Boil them for 1 minutes than drain the water out, fill the pot with fresh cold water to cover the peel strips, bring to the boil for 1 minutes. Repeat this
(yes, quite tedious) procedure 5 more times (7 in total).
Place 500 gr of sugar in a pot with 750 ml of water, stir until sugar is melted and it comes to a boil, then add your peel, the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Simmer on low heat for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the peel is translucent and the syrup has thickened.
Remove peel from the syrup* and place on a wire rack over a plate (to collect any drippings) to dry. This may take up to 8 hours.
When the peel is dry to the touch, dust in the remaining sugar.
Melt the chocolate in your preferred way (I always use the double boiler method, but if you are confident with a microwave, you have my blessing).
Half dip the peel in chocolate, the place them to set on a plate lined with baking paper.
You can store peel in an airtight container layered between sheets of baking paper for a few months. In very warm weather, keep them in the fridge and allow the strips to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before offering them.
They go down a treat with espresso coffee, tea and, for the brave ones, Grappa.
* Reserve the orange scented syrup to make Granitas, Sorbets, Cakes, Daiquiri, you name it…