Crystallised orange

  • 6 thick-skinned oranges
  • 900g caster sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 375ml water
1) Cut tops and bottoms off of the orange and score the orange into quarters, cutting down only into the peel and not into the fruit. Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces, use the orange for another recipe. Cut the peel into strips about 0.5cm wide. Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat. Then pour off the water. Repeat 1 or 2 more times depending up how assertive you want the orange peels to be. (Test kitchen liked the texture of a 3 time blanch best, it also mellowed the bitterness. But it is a matter of preference.) Remove the orange peels from the pan.

2) Whisk the sugar with 350ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 mins (If you took the sugar's temperature with a candy thermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 160C.) Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a simmer. Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 mins. Resist the urge to stir the peels or you may introduce sugar crystals into the syrup. If necessary, swirl the pan to move the peels around. Drain the peels, (save the syrup for ice tea.) Roll the peels in sugar and dry on a rack, for 4 to 5 hrs. Return to the sugar to store.

* Cook's Note: One way to use orange peels is to stuff a dried date with a piece of orange peel and almond, then dip the entire thing into dark chocolate.

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