Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spreading the Load

When making candied peel, the peel is kept in large 'cup-shaped' pieces, and later stored this way. Best chopped/diced when needed to add to a cake batter etc. Small jars of partially sliced 'cups' of peel is another 'goodie' to include in the Christmas Hampers we cooks like to give as gifts.
Candied Peel: makes 16 'cups'
4 large oranges
4 lemons
half ounce bicarbonate of soda
5 fl oz (150ml) hot water
1 1/2 pounds granulated sugar
extra water as needed
Wash the fruit (to remove any wax) and slice in half - the lemons sliced lengthwise, the oranges crosswise. Remove all the pulp and membranes, the pith can stay. Place the peel in a bowl. Dissolve the bicarb in the hot water and spoon over each piece of peel, then cover with boiling water to cover the peel completely, leaving it to stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile make a sugar syrup by dissolving 1 lb (450g) of the sugar with 15 fl oz (425ml) of water. Strain the peel, put in a bowl and pour over the syrup, then leave to stand for 2 days. Strain off the syrup and into this dissolve the remaining 8 oz (225g) sugar. Put into a pan with the peel and simmer until the peel looks clear, then remove peel, place on trays and dry off in a cool oven.
Boil the syrup for half an hour to reduce it, then dip the peel into this before placing back on trays and returning to oven to dry again.
Boil remaining syrup until very thick, then pour a very little into each citrus 'shell/cup' , leave to dry then store in an airtight container.
Rinse well, then put the peel in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender.