Thursday, November 17, 2011

Edible Christmas Gifts #3 Candied Orange Zest

I LOVE candied orange zest!  It has that great natural orange taste in a candy!  

Now, this edible gift does take some time to make.  You need to make this when you have a few hours.  You really are only working for the first 20-30 minutes and then the last 10.  So I promise it will be worth it!  

3 oranges
1 -1 1/2 cups sugar

*The good thing about this recipe, there is no precise measurements here.  If you want to make a lot at a time (it will keep for awhile, at least a month) make more than 3 oranges.  Or, if this is your first time and you just want to try it out, start with 1 or 2.  

Directions: (pictures to go with the directions below recipe)
  • Wash the oranges.
  • Cut the top and the bottom off of the orange so they stand up.  
  • With a serrated knife, cutting down, cut slices of orange peel.  
  • If you choose, you can cut or "shave off" some of the white part of the rind, which can be bitter.  (I did 2 batches to test this out.  One where I removed the white part, and one where I did not.  I found them both to be delicious as long as you cook them longer enough.  So do whichever you prefer.)
  • Cut them into the desired size.  I did some long strips, and smaller pieces.
  • Put in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and then drain the water.  This helps to remove the bitterness.  Repeat.
  • After you have boiled and drained twice, fill with water again and add about a half a cup of sugar.  
  • Cook until the peels start to turn translucent and tender.  The time will vary depending on how big you cut them.  Anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours.  (Let them simmer away on the stove and stir occasionally.  Do something else during this time, just keep an eye on them.)
  • Drain the peels again and put on a silpat or parchment lined tray.  
  • Sprinkle about a half cup sugar on and mix the peels and sugar together.  Let dry for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.  You will need to stir them around so they dry completely.  
  • Store in a air tight container for about a month.  
*You can also dip the dry orange peels into chocolate and let dry.  Chocolate and orange are delicious together!  

Package these in plastic bags and tie shut with a pretty ribbon or twist tie, or put them in a pretty holiday tin! 

Also, try this recipe with lemons or grapefruits! 

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