Making it from Scratch – Candied Peels
I always prefer using home-made ingredients in cooking, if possible, to buying them from shops. I can vouch for the quality of the spice mixes I make for various dishes. Now coming to our subject “candied peel” which literally means making candy out of peels.
Candied peels can be made using peels of citrus fruits like lemon, orange, grapefruit etc. Candied peels are generally used in cakes, puddings and can enhance a cocktail as well. You can also munch on them whenever you feel like.
The first time I tried to make candied peel was when I needed some for a cake and I was in a location where I couldn’t get out and buy some. I used oranges and it was a success. Since then, I have never bought candied peels. It’s a good way of making use of the peels as well. The general principle of the process is to boil the peels in strong sugar syrup and then dry off any moisture left.
Make sure firm oranges are selected for this, otherwise peeling the skin off the fruit becomes messy. Use a sharp tipped knife to core the skin into segments and then peel off. Remove the pith as much as possible to reduce the bitterness. Cut them into ½ cm strips before boiling in water.
The bitterness is further removed by boiling the peels in water before candying. Boiling the peel not only makes it soft and porous (to absorb more sugar) but also removes any pesticide residue.
Sugar syrup made for this purpose is a sugar to water ratio of 2:1. Once the peel strips are boiled and removed from the syrup and left to dry on a wire rack, the remaining sugar syrup can be used for making cocktails or to moisten cakes before icing them.
My candied peels were dried overnight and ready to use the next day.
Orange Peel – 2 oranges
Granulated sugar – 2 cups
Water – 1 cup
Granulated sugar – ¼ cup
- Peel the skin off oranges, remove the pith and cut into ½ cm strips.
- Add this to a pan of water and heat till the water is boiled. Drain.
- Repeat step 2 once more.
- Add the drained orange peels into pan with one cup of water and add sugar. Heat the mixture till it starts boiling.
- Once boiled reduce heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the peels using a slotted spoon into a bowl, sprinkle sugar and spread them on a wire rack to dry completely.