candied orange peel – it came without packages, boxes or bags!

I’m no Grinch. I’ve loved Christmas all my life. Ralph’s called me Santa’s #1 helper for years but this year something’s happened. Maybe it was the wedding… Being away at the end of November might have thrown my “it’s time to get ready for Christmas” internal clock off. Maybe Nanny being in the hospital… It’ll be the first Christmas of my life that I won’t visit my grandparent’s home.

Beyond these two huge events in my life, our family made the decision not to buy gifts for each other, this year. Instead, we drew names and are filling one stocking each.

Also, I decided not to stuff my freezer full of treats because most guests are too full by the time we get to dessert. I’ll bake as I need it.

We’re having a reception at the farm next summer for our friends and family that weren’t able to go to Mexico for the wedding so we’ve decided not to host our annual “Christmas on Carmarthen” party

So many changes, so many traditions broken. Still, the house is decorated, our cards are in the mail, plans are made for Christmas eve with Mom and Dad, and Kaite and Sara will be home. The magic’s happening…

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” – Dr.Seuss

I shared my orange peel recipe with you last year. This year’s version is made with regular oranges rather than navel oranges. The result is spectacular! The candy is intensely flavoured and the technique’s a little shorter. If you’ve never made candied orange peel before, have a go. Your kitchen will smell amazing and your family and friends will love you more!

Candied Orange Peel 2013
makes 2 1/2 lb

12 oranges, washed
6 cups sugar
6 cups water
2 drops each red and yellow food color [optional]
a candy thermometer

THE STEPS

Using a very sharp vegetable peeler, remove peel from oranges with as little pith as possible – the white stuff under the peel
Cut peel lengthwise into 1/3 inch wide strips.

BLANCHING

Place peel in a deep heavy pot. Cover with cold water by 1 inch and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Drain in colander.
Repeat blanching 2 more times.
Cover peel once more with cold water and simmer until skin is tender – 30 minutes – drain in colander.
Return pot to stove and add 6 cups of water and 6 cups of sugar.
Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Add food color and boil syrup without stirring until it reaches 220*F on the candy thermometer – about 30 minutes.
Add drained peel and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes or until translucent.
Remove from heat and let peel stand in syrup 24 hours, at room temperature.

DRYING

Place large metal cooling rack on newspaper, waxed paper or parchment paper to catch drips
Lift peel from syrup with tongs and spread out on rack.
Leave for 24 hours or until syrup has crystallised.
Spread 1 cup sugar on a plate
Top with a handful of peel then toss in the sugar until it’s well coated. Add more sugar when necessary.
Leave to dry 1 hour
The peel will keep for 3 months in a well sealed container layered between pieces of wax paper or in glass jars with tightly fitted lids.

THE LOVE: Make sure you blanch 3 times to ensure no bitterness from the pith! The pith is the white stuff under the skin.

printable recipe  click link for a printable version of the recipe

one year ago: fruitcake biscotti with white chocolate drizzle

two years ago: Christmas pork terrine with pistachios

Thanks for reading.

  • Meggie

    Hmmm someone is being a bit of a downer about our FAV holiday. Yes some traditions were skipped this year, rather than broken. But Still lots too celebrate and lots to be thankful for! Get in the spirit mama. Even without the party and all the gift, it’s still Christmas on Carmarthen! xo

    • Hey Lambchop! You didn’t finish reading…the magic’s happening despite the changes. That’s the point! xo

  • I may very well try this recipe this week! I am determined to make Florentines (my favorite) for the first time and will need candied orange peel. Does it work ok if you reduce the quantities?

    • I can’t see why not…but you’ll need to reduce the cook time on the syrup.