Christmas Eve is finally upon us and I'm finally feeling the festive spirit! A few days ago I posted out my chocolate & orange loaf cake (which went down a treat, thank you for asking) that featured a homemade candied orange peel topping, in that post I said that I would give out a separate recipe for the candied peel because it isn’t very difficult but it can get all jumbled up when you’re trying to read the cake recipe too…and let’s face it, I’m interested to see whether you’d rather make candied peel or cake, so these posts are my social experiment!
The method to making this candied peel is pretty simple it just takes time, a lot of boiling and draining of water, and then a little patience, but it’s not difficult and if you want something VERY simple at the last minute to show off to your friends and family, then I promise this is it!
Makes approx 30 Sticks of Peel
Approx 300-500g Granulated Sugar
3 tbsp Granulated Sugar, for coating
To start with we need to separate the peel from the orange, to do this, score the orange from top to bottom on two sides then run your thumb underneath the pith (the white bit of the orange peel) to separate it from the orange itself, this way you should have two pretty much intact peels. Then, slice them up into long, half an inch thick sticks.
Now put the peel sticks into a small saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil on medium-low heat. Once the water is boiling turn the heat down to low and let the peel simmer for 5 mins before taking off the heat and draining the water away.
Repeat the process but leave the peel to simmer for 30 mins this time, once the peel is done simmering place a sieve over a measuring jug and strain the water into the jug then set the peel aside.
Measure how much water you have and then add 100g of granulated sugar for every 100ml of water, pour the sugar water back into the saucepan on a medium heat and stir until the sugar has fully dissolved. Tip the peel back into the sugar water, reduce the heat to low and let the peel simmer for another 30 mins until it's is soft and the pith is translucent.
Take the saucepan off the heat and allow it to fully cool for 20-30 mins before draining the water and arranging the peel on a non stick baking tray or silicon baking mat, put the oven at its lowest temperature and dry out the peel for around 30 mins.
Once the peel has finished in the oven, take it out, tip into a small bowl of granulated sugar and shake the peel around in the sugar until each slice is evenly coated, arrange the slices back on the baking tray and let them air-dry for at least 1 hour.
And that’s it! The candied peel can last up to a month in an airtight container so you’ll have plenty of time to use it in loads of lovely bakes or as a little snack every now and then. I think this is best used in cookies, on top of cakes or cupcakes, or I even plan to add it into baklava for a real burst of fresh citrus. Not only does it taste lovely but it looks amazing in my little glass jars, so if you need a kitchen decoration it’s great for that too, haha!
I hope you can see how simple it is to make candied peel from this recipe, this was actually my third attempt so I’m glad it finally worked out and I was able to share it with you. I never really used to eat candied peel before now but I think this will be a regular thing that I make, not just because it’s tasty but because it really helps to waste less in the kitchen too. If you’re using oranges in a recipe, rather than throwing the peel away, why not knock up some candied peel after you’re done, or if you eat oranges quite regularly you now have another snack idea rather than just throwing the peel away. Obviously (and quite rightly) there's a huge emphasis now on Zero Waste living and although this sounds good in theory, it can be quite difficult to actually make this a reality in the real world due to the packaging on everything, but something like this candied peel I hope will show you that amazing things can be made from things that we consider just useless.
Obviously, another huge plus is that because this recipe just uses granulated sugar and orange, it’s completely vegan, which makes it perfect for adding a little bit of zing to vegan bakes!
If, like me, you have one more day of work today before a couple of days off then I salute you, we can get through this, let’s count down the hours! If you’re off relaxing at home, or with your loved ones I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year to come…and I hope you get to make lots of candied peel from all those leftover Christmas oranges!
Less than 24 hours until Christmas!