Arancia Candite - candied orange peel

Recipe

Arancia Candite (Candied Orange or any citrus Peel)

A few keen readers ready to bake the Cavallucci biscuits posted below have asked me how best to candy the orange peel. This posting is the simple method I follow. This probably isn’t the traditional Italian method but you know how I like to keep things simple.  Probably in Sicily - home of the best candied desserts and citrus in the world - they use a slower more lengthy method to achieve such gorgeousness. I bought the commercial packets in Italy and it was fantastic.  Maggie Beer & Stephanie Alexander also have a more time consuming however lovely recipe (and many others) in their “Tuscan Cookbook”  They prefer leaving all the bitter white pith intact. I’ve always removed the white pith. This came originally from Maria Anello of “New Farm Deli Cookbook”  fame. I’ve used her book for years and still adore popping into the New Farm deli.

Ingredients

6-8 oranges (or whichever citrus you are using)  make it the best & brightest local citrus you can find

approximately 12 tablespoons of sugar (weigh your citrus zest and use same weight of sugar to zest) 

Method + Tips

With a small sharp paring knife, peel the skin off the citrus.  Remove the white pith too so that all you are left with is citrus zest skin. i.e orange, lemon, lime, ruby grapefruit part only.

 In a small pot, cover the peels with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Drain the water off, rinse the peels well and place them in a tupperware bowl to soak for about an hour. Come back to your peel when you are ready.  In my case, four loads of washing and the breakfast dishes.. know what I mean?

Drain off the water and return to the pot on moderate heat with equal weight of sugar added in. Stir constantly and cook until the sugar is caramelising. This means the syrup is turning a light golden colour not dark brown.  If dark brown then you’ve taken the syrup too far to a toffee.

Lay the peel on baking paper to cool and dry. Turn and when dry both sides you can roll in castor sugar if you like. You can also dip it in melted chocolate for a treat.  Lots of lovely uses; cake toppings, icings, biscuits, ice-creams and puddings. In our humid climate, store in an airtight container in the fridge and away from little pesty sugar ants.  Keeps well for months.