We live in a very convenient age; we can just pop along to the shops and get hold of almost anything we want, when we want it. But this comes at a cost. I need some Candied Oranges And Lemons to top off my Christmas Cakes.
I make several cakes every year, 1 for us, 1 for Mum and Dad, 1 for my Brother and Sister-In-Law, 1 for the Mother-In-Law – finally someone in my choir has asked for one as a gift for when they go away at Christmas (not going to say who as it is a surprise)
So, yesterday I toddle off to the shops for the said Candied Oranges And Lemons, and wouldn’t you know it I found them quite quickly. But blow me down they were £8.99. £8.99, heck – for my American readers that’s about $14! I thought ‘I could do that’. The spirit of Scrooge lives on.
To make Candied Oranges And Lemons You Will Need
To start with if you have the option buy Organic. In this case we are going to eat the peel so it’s probably a good idea. Give the fruit a good hot wash and scrub to as they are usually waxed.
Make a sugar syrup. Put the granulated sugar and water into a thick-bottomed pan. On a medium-high heat stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar. You will know when this is dissolved as your spoon will feel no grittiness on the base of the pan. Take a wet pastry brush and wash away any crystals that may be lurking on the side of the pan.
FROM HERE ON IN DO NOT STIR THE SYRUP – that way madness lies. Your sugar wants to return to its crystalline form and stirring it is a good way to make that happen. Take a wet pastry brush and wash away any crystals that may be lurking on the side of the pan.
Cut the fruit up into slices just over .25 inch (6 or 7mm) thick slices; throw away the knarley end bits.
Strain off the water and re-cover the fruit in cold water.
Bring this back to the boil and strain them off again. In both cases you do not need to keep the water. If you are candying grapefruit peel then you need to do this 4 times as the skin is so very bitter.
If your fruit is poking up above the surface then a little cover of baking parchment will help them stay submerged.
Cook them for 1 or 2 hours – this all depends on how thick your peel is. You know it is ready when the peel goes translucent. I had to fish my lemons out and give the oranges more time.
As you take the fruit out of the syrup place them on a drying rack (with a tray under it to catch the sticky drips!). Once they are all out of the syrup leave them to drip for a couple of hours and then dredge them in white sugar – giving them an all over coating.
Leave these in a warm dry atmosphere (|still on the drying rack) for 2 or 3 days, or if like me you cannot wait that long put them in a very low oven 80C or 180F for 3 to 4 hours. Gurrr – my rack would not fit in my oven so I had to transfer them – so check before you start if your rack fits the cooker.
Leave the fruit to cool and it will crystallize up. These are absolutely delicious, if I say so myself! You could half dip them in dark chocolate and give them as a gift, if you can keep you teeth off them that long, boy are they chewy!