“Was really beginning to enjoy the feeling that… it was OK to lie in bed as long as you want, put anything you fancy into your mouth, and drink alcohol whenever it should chance to pass your way, even in the mornings. Now suddenly we are all supposed to snap into self-discipline like lean teenage greyhounds.”
– Bridget Jones, January 3 (Bridget Jones’ Diary)
Yes, it’s the first week in January and we’re all hitting the gym, eating clean, and going on unrealistic diets we’ll break by the end of the month (oh, you’re keeping your diet going well into the summer? Well good for you.)
And me? I’m posting treats.
I swear, I’m not trying to lure to you the dark (chocolate) side. Well… I am. But there is another reason I’m jumping the gun on this particular recipe today- it is the PERFECT Valentines gift, and it takes about two weeks to make (two *pretty much effortless* weeks).
That gives you a week or so to pin/tag/transcribe/bookmark this recipe. Another week or two to finally get your act together and make it, and then you’re still totally in the clear to have these beauties ready to give to your best and loveliest come February 14th.
See? I am tempting you, but I’m not trying to break your January stride.
I know what you’re thinking- ‘um, I think I know how to candy an orange peel, Finn.’ SUPER SIMPLE. Only… well… I now think we’ve all been doing it wrong this entire time.
I used to do the ol’ boil ’em up and toss ’em in some sugar wham-bam method. That was fine. THEN I tried this method- same amount of effort, just two weeks longer. There’s candied and then there is properly candied.
The purist’s method.
Take a look at the photos above- day 1 vs. day 10. Those are marinated. Candied. Solidly, through and through crystallized.
Trust me, you’ve never tasted candied orange like this before (well, you might have if you’re a fan of high-end chocolateries). Unbelievable. When your love (your romantic love, your friendship love, your family love, whatever love you choose) tastes these, they will taste the love.
As for me, I’m using these to show myself how much I care (nothin’ like a little long overdue self-care). My husband’s watching my infant daughter, the house is quiet (albeit a mess), I’m going to run myself a hot bath and disappear with a handful of these (and a glass of wine?). Yikes, when did I become such a… mom.
|Perfect Candied Orange Peels|| |
- 6-8 Navel oranges
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups water
- 200 g good quality dark chocolate (optional)
- Quarter oranges, slicing through the 'navel' of the orange. Remove the membranes (set these aside for another recipe, eat them straight or juice them), leaving the white pith on.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add quartered orange peels and blanch for 10 seconds, shocking them with a rinse in cold water to cool them down.
- In a large saucepan, combine 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water over medium heat until the sugar has fully dissolved and created a simple syrup. Add orange peel quarters. Bring the syrup to a boil then turn the heat off. Make sure all the peels are submerged- I use a plate to weigh them down if they start to float.
- That's pretty much it! Every morning, bring your peels in syrup to a boil then turn the heat off and let it slowly cool. Do this for 9-11 days, until they start to look gummy and translucent. Once they are nicely crystallized, strain the syrup off into a container (save this, it's liquid gold! I add it to soda water, hot chocolate, pour it over syrup, etc.). Slice the peels lengthwise into ¼ inch strips and lay them to dry on a rack or lined baking sheet for 2-3 days in a cool, dark spot, until they become tacky to the touch. Eat them as is, use them in baking or...
- To take it one step further... I like to dip them in chocolate! Melt some dark chocolate in a double boiler (or in 30 second intervals in the microwave) and dip half of each peel, setting it to dry on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.