Monday, February 23, 2009

Pretty but insipid

Taking a page from my buddy over at Homeschooling in the Kitchen, I decided to candy some orange peel today. I didn't get a lot of help from the kids, but some company.

One exciting thing, given my other activity lately, is that the oranges were foraged from an empty house. How about that? The economic crisis provides bank-owned houses with abundant fruit. Sad, really. The navel oranges were pretty, but I need to figure out a way to find juicy ones on the tree, because some were punky and dry.

After they were peeled, I cut them into strips. I tried to be careful to make them uniform, but I'm not the Queen of Details.

They were then thrice-poached,

Since Susan had said that they chopped too much pith off, I left more on, but I think it was too much. Maybe next time (if there is a next time -- this is a lot of peel), I'll trim the pith by scraping with a spoon before cutting into strips. Then they were simmered in syrup until fairly translucent, and I rolled some in sugar and left some dry for dipping in chocolate.

They look lovely, but tasted insipid when still wet -- it tasted as though the pith just held water. I can't imagine that dipping them in dark chocolate would hurt, but I don't want to throw good chocolate after bad peel. I'll taste them again tomorrow after they're drier and double check.

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Susan said...

Did you simmer in water or sugar water? Our recipes called for a very syrupy sugar water. Not that we were happy with the results or anything. Ours were hard as rocks!

Yours do look beautiful. I hope they dry into something delicious overnight. You are reminding me that I have all those zestless oranges to juice!

allisonmariecat said...

I always think I'll candy orange peel, but it never seems like a good idea when the opportunity actually arises. It's too fiddly for me, I guess. I did, however, have at least an orange a day when visiting my parents in CA--the navel oranges in their backyard were as big as grapefruits and ridiculously sweet. Yum!