Tuesday, 18 October 2011

How to Make Candied Fruit

Candied Orange and Lemon Peel
I thought I would try something new this weekend and attempt to make candied fruit. It isn't the sort of thing I would usually go for, and I'm not that big on sweets either, but it looked to cute and I fancied having something around the house I could nibble on occasionally. After making them, it will have to be occasionally as there is so much sugar in them, I think if you ate more than 1 or 2 pieces you teeth would rot right then and there. Even if you don't want to eat it, it makes a really pretty decoration around the house, and could potentially be a lovely present if you wrapped it up in nice cellophane with a ribbon. Although maybe getting a little of arts and crafty for my usual sentiments.

This isn't a difficult recipe, its incredibly simple, and it doesn't even take any hard work, its just a slow process. Slower than I thought when I started as I had wanted to go out and enjoy the late afternoon sun, instead i drank a whole cafetiere and read the observer online and waited for fruit peel to boil. My flatmates must think I get my kicks from some very strange activities.

It all starts with an orange and a lemon (sort of like that nursery rhyme)

First you have to peel your fruit (i still have a peeled orange and a peeled lemon in my fridge), it is easiest to take the top and bottom off then score the surface of the fruit in 1cm strips then peel the sections down.

This should then be boiled for 10 minutes and rinsed 3 times. You should use clean water each time as it takes away the nasty taste of peel. After this you have to cook it in a mixture of sugar and water, I think I used too much as I had lots of syrup left at the end. It should be brought to the boil, then left to simmer with the peel in. It was this bit that was the killer, I hadn't realised how long it would take the peel to absorb all the sugary liquid. A long time apparently. It will go sort of crystallised and develop a sticky texture when you poke it, and thats how you know its done. 

Now for the 'fun' part, at this point my flatmates were out drinking rum on the roof and found what I was doing even odder. Take each piece of peel and roll it in sugar then leave it to dry out on a rack. 

If you haven't messed up, then you should be left with something that looks like this. At least I was and I didn't put a great deal of care into my rolling. 

I made mine on Sunday afternoon, and left it out to dry till today, which is tuesday and it tastes delicious, and very, very sweet which really is unsurprising for how much sugar went into it. 
At the moment I'm keeping mine in a wine glass, but think it will need to go in a jar otherwise it might go a bit bad. I am also definitely going to want a glass of wine before I manage to eat all the peel.

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