African Vanielje on Nov 14 2007 at 10:50 am | Filed under: Uncategorized
I always buy organic oranges to juice for my daughter, and as they come at a premium I don’t like to waste pith, peel or pip. So at the end of every bag of oranges I whip up a quick batch of candied peel which I theoretically stockpile for Christmas. I say theoretically, because that is of course the idea, but these little citrus twists are so moreish that come Christmas cake baking time I generally find the cupboard is bare (or the jar is empty). Maybe I shouldn’t put them in a jar, on display, on the counter next to the kettle. But they go so well with espresso.
And you know how when you stand there waiting for the kettle to boil it doesn’t, just to spite you. Well try nibbling on one or six of these in the interim and you’ll find that the kettle has boiled before you know it. In fact sometimes I boil it twice just to make sure it is hot. You still need to do the nibbling second time around or the trick doesn’t work. But as I’ve said, no hardship.
Come November, if I find I still have a few left, I sometimes melt down a precious bar of dark chocolate to dip the ends of a few strips in. Two of my favourite tastes combined in one double whammy. Little packets or bottles make a great Christmas gift, once again theoretically, because I’ve never actually given them to anyone. Mostly because no matter how large the batch there just never seem to be any leftover to give away.
Anyway, none of these are the main reason for making your own peel. The whole raison d’etre for candied citrus peel is to perk up your Christmas cake. You won’t believe how much better your fruitcake will taste with your own peel in it, and you don’t have to limit yourself to orange. Lemon, lime and even grapefruit can be candied and kept for the big event.
So come on, all you need is some citrus peel and sugar. Why don’t you plan it for this weekend? That way you’ll be ready to make fruitcake next week.