Saturday, 25 February 2012

Preserved Orange Peel

It's always irked me that citrus peel is just chucked in the compost once the juice or flesh has been extracted, so periodically I make Roasted Lemon Zest Powder or somesuch attempt at 'nose-to-tail' cuisine. This time it's orange peel cured then preserved in a heavy syrup.

I saved the peel as we consumed the fruit for a couple of weeks. Each time we peeled an orange the peel went into an plastic box containing a mixture of equal quantities of salt and sugar. I used the chunky curing salt that is very easily available here, and cheap. You will need about 1-2 cups of each for a 2 litre icecream container. As each peel is added you stir it around to make sure everything is in contact with the curing mixture. When the box is too full to successfully stir it around anymore leave it in the fridge for a week or more (up to a month).

Orange peel in syrup, with some extra syrup on the side.
At the end of this period, pick out the peel and put it in a saucepan covered in fresh water. Bring to the boil, then drain. Repeat this 3 more times. Rinse the peel in cold water to cool it down after the final boiling and scrape off any remaining white pith. Cut the peel into strips, triangles or dice.

Make up a syrup using equal quantities of sugar and water - about 4 cups of each. Put the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to make the sugar dissolve. Once boiling add the peel, bring back to the boil then take off the heat and allow to cool. The peel in syrup should keep indefinitely in the fridge or cool cellar.

I am planning to use it covered in chocolate, in cakes, tagines, icecream and anything else that takes my fancy. The syrup will also get used in cakes and icecream.



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  1. Thanks for this. It looks delicious. Do you think you could do the same thing with lemon peels?

  2. sounds very labor intensive but I love candied orange great grandmother used to make at xmas time

  3. Ah, candied peel... I remember when my mother had some to make a "proper" Christmas pudding from scratch one year, and had us all stoning the raisins, chopping the suet, almonds and the candied peel, etc., etc. I think it's safe to say the candied peel reached its intended destination a few weeks earlier than planned.....

    (the other option is, of course, marmalade, but you need the flesh and juice as well).

  4. Ken: it's really good! There are a couple of lemons in with the oranges. It doesn't go as soft, but still preserves well.

    Melinda: the only labour intensive bit is scraping the boiled peel.

    Auty: this is nicer than marmarlade.

  5. Nothing orangey is nicer than marmalade Susan... except dark chocolate orange worms!

  6. This could be good with a hot X bun and butter pudding recipe that I am preparing a post for.

    At the time of writing the post still hasn't appeared on my dashboard. I wonder why?

  7. man, I should have eaten the chocolate covered peels slower. I wouldn't have scarfed them down if I knew they were that labour intensive.

  8. Tim: there are lots of orangey things nicer than marmalade, especially the chocolate orange worms.

    Gaynor: I've PM'd you. It would be excellent in b&b pudding.

    Pearl: you gourmande.

  9. No Susan, have to disagree... marmalade first, otherwise the day wouldn't start... chocolate covered rindworms a very close second... then my Mum's chocolate orange mouse... followed by chocolate and marmalade sponge pudding [with possibly optional chocolate sauce]... and finally marmalade Boost sandwiches [peanut butter, Breizh Karamel and dark chocolate spread is the Boost part... with just a hint of marmalade spread on for an orangey hit]

    The second roll over of the WV has come up as "nguala reasem"... which kind of sums up the noise my guts are now making after writing this! Need to get going, sun's out and we're of to the Brenne for the first time in almost seven months.

  10. Tim: Ha! Off crane spotting then? Curiously, although I love this preserved peel, I don't like marmalade. I suspected it's actually the combo of marmalade on buttered toast that I don't like.

  11. how odd this post didn't show on my dashboard yesterday.
    Your jar looks yummy and wonderful!

  12. N&A: Gaynor had the same problem. I think it must be a blogger thing.

  13. Great idea. Great blog. I am from New Zealand and blog on food amongst other things. You might be interested in this post about the most useful cook book I have Will enjoy following your blog.

  14. Carole: thanks. I think my mother has some Stephanie Alexander books.