Friday, 1 February 2013

How to make organic candied orange and chocolate dipped peels.

It is such a shame to compost the peels of any of your organic citrus fruit, when you can cook and candy them so simply. The following method is also the one I use to prepare peels before making marmalade, as it renders them less bitter and to us, more digestible at the breakfast table. They can also be kept for use in cakes and puddings.

Delicous home-made organic tangerine and dark chocolate sweets

Above - Delicious home-made economical sweets from something you might have thrown away or at best flung in the compost bin! You can use a variety of citrus peels for sweets even the Seville, if you you want something as a bitter foil for a sweeter chocolate. The best lemons for sweets are those varieties which have very thick peels - I am lucky enough to have a neighbour who brings me them back every Summer from her mother's tree in Sardinia. They are supposed to be from a root-stock introduced by Alexander the Great and are also brilliant for juicing.

oven-dried organic candied orange peels The  peels left have been dried in the oven and will keep for ages in a sealed box. If I want to make softer peels like the ones for the tangerine peel chocolates above I follow the same method but I cook the  peels in the syrup at the end and then just roll them in sugar and air dry them for an hour or so. 

The Method

                                                  






Wash the fruit to rid them of any dust. Remove the peels from the fruit in reasonably sized strips.







You don't have to be as fanciful in peeling your fruit but I was making a film and wanted my citrus to look interesting, 'dancing' in time to the music! (link at end of post)






 


Add all the peel to a saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to the boil and remove from heat, drain and rinse. 











 
Repeat this process three times in total. 




 





Using a sharp filleting knife or similar remove as much pith as possible from the peels. This can then be composted. Cut the peels into strips. The strips are now covered with cold water, brought to the boil and simmered until they  become translucent. This takes approximately ten minutes. Drain but do not rinse put into a a measuring jug, so as to gauge the volume of syrup needed, you will need enough to cover all the peels completely.
 

Make the syrup with equal amounts of raw cane sugar and water. Stir well to dissolve and then leave to boil without stirring until the mixture is golden brown. Pour over the peels, cover and leave for at least an hour. Remove and leave to dry on racks in the bottom of a warm oven. This will make for very dry peels, which will keep well. 


Juicier, softer peels for sweets, decoration and dipping in chocolate

 




If you want softer peels, then you can cook them in the syrup, rather than just cover them with it, where they will plump up. After the syrup thickens you can then let them cool and freeze in containers. Or you can go on to make them into chocolate dipped peel



Below are some I have dried ready for dipping.

I often make these softer peels as I need them, as I did with this mix for my Christmas Pudding below. Link: Victorian Christmas Pudding Recipe with gluten-free option.



Pictured below soft peels drying and lightly dusted with sugar.

Once you have dried your peels and rolled them in sugar take some good quality, high coco solids cooking chocolate and melt it in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. You can then dip one or both ends of your peels into the melted chocolate and put them to dry and cool on a plate





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Home-made tooth paste
Dried and candied peels can be used for both cooking, cosmetics and medicines. The main ingredient of the home-made tooth powder which we use everyday, is dried, powdered orange peel. So next time you eat an organic orange, think twice before you consign such a valuable asset  to the compost bin.    
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You can find my toothpaste recipe here 'Snow Caps' old Swiss teeth whitening recipe

If you enjoyed this recipe, please feel free to share it, comment and/or ask questions.

I'll wish you bon app├ętit and hope to see you next time, Sue 

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© 2013 Sue Cross

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