Candied orange peel can be used to decorate a cake, to flavour a mousse, buttercream frosting, to dip them in dark chocolate, or just to eat by itself. The sweet and bright flavour will liven up your desserts and give them that extra touch.
Candied orange peel is easy to make, but you will require some equipment to make sure you get it right. Most important I believe is to have a candy thermometer, as you'll be boiling sugar. The recipe comes from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1" and it can be adapted for lemon peel. Here are the instructions on how to make this component and the quick mise en place.
Preparing strips of peel
- 3 bright coloured oranges (or 5 lemons)
- 1 quart water
- A vegetable peeler
- A small paring knife
Place the water in a saucepan and bring to the simmer. Take the vegetable peeler and remove the coloured part of the orange. Avoid taking too much of the white part of the skin, as it is quite bitter. Take the strips of skin and with the paring knife, cut into longitudinal strips, a couple of inches long and 1/16 of an inch wide.
You should end up with a handful of strips which you then simmer in water for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from water, place on a drainer, rinse with cold water and leave to drain.
Preparing the syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- A candy thermometer
In a saucepan on medium high heat, boil sugar and water until it reaches 230˚F. A good technique to avoid the sugar from caramelizing at the bottom is to move the saucepan by its handle in a circular motion over the burner. But be extra careful, as anything that spills out will be pretty hot. Once it starts becoming clear you can let boil to the required temperature.
Once the sugar reaches the required temperature, remove from heat and stir in the dry peel and the vanilla. Leave soaking for at least 30 minutes.
Drain once more and leave out to dry.
From here on you can cut it, use by strips to decorate, eat, or dip them in chocolate. Enjoy!