With citrus fruits available in abundance these days, I've been picking up the odd pink grapefruit and blood orange and experimenting in some way or another. As a result my compost bin has been overflowing with colourful peels and pith. Thinking about this, led me to think about the ways I could use some of this leftover matter and I immediately thought of candied orange peel. Chocolate dipped candied orange peel, to be more specific.
Not necessarily my sweet of choice, but a popular confection for many people, candied orange peel is often given as a gift around the Christmas season. This year I thought it might be a nice gift for the boys teachers for Valentine's Day, a nice alternative to boxed chocolates and the usual heart-shaped cookies.
So simple to make, you really need nothing more than the peels of citrus fruits (I would recommend oranges, lemons and pink grapefruit), water and sugar. If you desire the addition of chocolate, add a few squares of that too.
Chocolate dipped orange peel is quite a popular treat in France and is commonly known as Orangettes. I love that name for them and think it sounds so much sweeter than dark-chocolate-dipped-candied-orange-peel, wouldn't you agree?
What interesting things are you making these days?
4 cups water
1.5 cups sugar
5 oz dark chocolate, melted
- Remove the end of the oranges. Following the curve of the of the fruit, cut away the peel leaving much of the pith attached to the orange. Slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips.
- Bring three cups of the water to a boil and cook the peel strips for 15 minutes. Remove and drain the water, rinse the peel and set aside.
- Combine the remaining cup of water and 1 cup of the sugar in the pot and boil to make a simple syrup. Cook the peel in the syrup for 10 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon or tongs transfer the peel to a wire rack.
- Let the peel dry for 1-2 hour. Place in a bowl and toss with the remaining sugar to coat. Throw out the excess sugar.
- Dip orange peel sliced into melted chocolate. Allow to cool on parchment paper. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.