Christmas has many aromatic associations. Candied orange peel is one of them. You can buy it or you can make it by yourself, have a wonderful smell in your house for a couple of days and then you can use the result for cakes, desserts, salads…
It is possible to buy orange around the year, but the best oranges can be found around December-January in the supermarkets. A beautiful orange is huge, has thick, bright skin and is juicy inside. As soon as you can find such oranges, buy them. Buy a lot.
- Wash the oranges properly.
- Slash their skins into quarters with a sharp knife.
- Peel the quarters and remove the white layer with a knife.
- Let the peels stay in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours or an overnight.
- Wash and then cook the peels for a few minutes. Then rinse them with cold water.
- Place the peels in a big pot. Measure their weight and add the same amount of sugar to them. Add as much water as slightly covers the peels.
- Cook it slowly until the peels become translucent, glass-like - it can take a few hours. Keep an eye with the pot and add some water if it is necessary.
- Place the orange peels on a porcelain or ceramic surface - it can be a plate or a tray - and let them dry. It goes faster if you place them close to a radiator. But be careful, they should not dry completely out.
- When they are dry enough but still a bit soft and flexible, you can cut them into small dices or strips if you want. Place them in a glass and keep it in the fridge - you can keep it for about a year.
The syrup, you get as a side product, can be use to sweeten and flavour tea, desserts, lemonade, etc. Keep it in the fridge, too.