Candied Orange Peel:How Many Ways To Skin A Cat, You Ask?...
My goodness gracious.Honestly, I have NEVER....... Just try googling it and you'll see what I mean. I don't know if i've ever seen so many completely different recipes for something. Pith or no, pre-blanch or not and how many times; how long to poach in sugar syrup- 5 min or 2 hrs; air dry or oven dry or no dry? etc etc etc.
This time of year we buy little wooden boxes of clementines. I save the peels and candy them. Didn't turn out so well last yr so thought I'd ask the trusty CHs here. I will use these candied peels for 2 things- chopped and added to brownies, cookies,panforte, etc.; and dipped in dark choc.I do not want to dip them in granulated sugar.
Of course, i would prefer to not remove the pith, but i'm open per your advice.
This L.A. recipe appeals to me but they leave out info on drying the candied peel and how to store and where to store.(I would prefer either room temp or frzr because i have so little frig space. Funny, none of the You Tube videos i sat through- include blanching the peel to remove bitterness.TIA!
p.s. i have looked through all the past CH threads on this now.
Oh, God, the candied peel problem.
I start mine like I'm making marmalade: soak overnight , pith and all, in plenty of water, then drain. I boil them in simple syrup three times, but the last time I bring the syrup up to hard-crack stage (150ºC, about 300ºF), immerse them, and then let them cool. You can crack the remaining "brittle" off later if you want to. Makes them hard (and impregnable) on the outside, then still a little soft and squooshy on the inside which makes for nicer candy eating.
If you have the Gourmet cookbook, the recipe in there is foolproof. And yes, keep the pith - you need that bitterness to counter the repeated baths in sugar that they're going to get. This might be it, though I don't recall them recommending food coloring. But the multiple cooking is key, and the other recipes on Epicurious don't have it: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Candied-Citrus-Peel-107434
But when I was looking it up to try to find precisely which recipe it is, I found one specific to clementines, which might be helpful. After all, the recipe I use on thick grapefruit would be pretty different for clementines, I'd think:
kate, thnx for the thoughtfulness. i did go ahead and do these and the one problem i see is that the peels are very soft. i'm hoping that further drying will make them less soft. i'm on day 2 of drying now. i don't want to coat them w/ more sugar because i really only want them as an ingredient in pan forte and brownies and cookies, and to dip some in choc.
btw,i didn't boil for 10 min.; i covered them w/ water, brought to boil, drained, repeat.total 4 x. Then slow simmer 45 min in sugar syrup.
kate, the problem i see w/ the clementine recipe you linked is that it says to add peel to water, bring to boil and boil 10 min., rinse, drain, do this 3x total. that's 30 min of boiling beyond the recipe i used(which just brings it to boil and then drains and starts again 3x total), so i just cannot see the peels holding up and not falling apart. mine were so soft(not all of them; maybe 50% or more)already......
Mine are all finished now, and the 'soft' pieces firmed up fine after 2-3 days of drying on a rack. What i did:
CANDIED CLEMENTINE PEELS
Peel(pith included) from 1.5 5lb.boxes of clementines(refrigerate peels in plastic bag in frig as you eat through the boxes!)
7 c. sugar
9 c. water
Put peel in pot of water to cover. With lid on, bring to boil, scoop into colander, drain.Repeat 2-3 more times, tasting to make sure most bitterness has been removed. Drain peel in colander. Combine sugar and water and boil to 220 degrees. With a wet pastry brush kept in a bowl of cold water, wash down any side crystallization on the pan, if and when it forms. Add peel, bring to boil; turn down to simmer for 45 minutes. dunking peels down in, 3 or 4 times.Remove peel, lay out on oiled cookie racks to dry for a few days until not soft but not leathery tough. Store in bin.
** To neatly peel clementines: Cut off small stem end at top. With serrated knife, cut straight down from top to bottom, cutting through skin and pith but not cutting into flesh.Repeat these slices at 1.5" intervals. Peel off skin in one piece (looks like a lettuce cup or open peony in shape.) Now cut petals through to the 'south pole', destroying the bowl and producing a group of petals/clementine peel slices.
9 c. water
I made a recipe I found on epicurious. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... Peeled the oranges with a peeler (and then I did scrape off as much pith as I could with a paring knife), then boiled in simple syrup for 15 minutes, then dry in sugar. I know you don't want to do that last part -- I'm not sure how it would taste without it (too bitter?). But it was so delicious as written. Also, I was using it to decorate a cranberry-orange cake for Thanksgiving, so I cut the orange peel fairly thin after I peeled it (1/8"). I was surprised that such a short boil would work -- I had made it earlier and used multiple boils. But it did!
Well, I am certainly no expert, but everything I read told me to leave the pith. I just did a bunch of lemon and orange peels and tried to just not get an excessive amount of pith if it was an overly endowed orange or lemon but otherwise I didn't try to leave it off. I followed instructions to blanch over and over until the peel was tender. The orange peels were definitely tender by 4 blanchings and the lemons by 6 (i just did them all together, though). Then they went into the sugar syrup, where I left them for maybe an hour simmering. My recipes were indicating less time but for some reason I thought it should be longer (can't remember why) and after it was all done I found another recipe stating it should be longer. Then I drained them, making sure to catch the sugar/oj/lemon syrup to keep for later (don't neglect that; it is yummy). So far as drying, I sugared mine before finding that they could dry in the oven. I left them somewhat spread out overnight, dumped them in a bowl in the morning with more sugar, decided they were never going to dry, and put them in a bag into the freezer (having found one mention that one could freeze them). I haven't tried them out of the freezer, so that is the one point I can't attest to.
You also have to take mine with a grain of salt; mine are not your typical peels. I was making them to put in a Black Cake and was going to have to chop them up when done and so I just chopped them before I started. So my peels are just little peel chunks. Actually, I have way too many little peel chunks; I had no idea how many peels would make 12 oz of peels. If anyone needs any candied peels already chopped for their fruitcake, I've got them. They don't have high fructose corn syrup!