Homemade candied peel

I sometimes have domestic goddess impulses. The kind where I put on a floral pinny and some pearl earrings, turn on some Tim Hughes, and make cheese scones. Please tell me I’m not alone. Tell me you also pretend to be Nigella Lawson as you eat leftovers out of the fridge at midnight. Or pretentiously walk around the market, picking up fruit and herbs to smell them before deciding Sainsbury’s oranges were cheaper.

This homemade orange peel was a product of one of those urges.

‘Why would you make your own when you can buy it with far less effort?’ I hear you cry. Let me tell you:
1. Because you’re a fabulous domestic goddess who not only makes her own nougat but makes the peel to go in it. Oh yeah.
2. If you didn’t, you’d miss out on the A-mazing summery orangey scents that fill your house as you boil the peel for the first, second… and third time. You’re not only getting candied peel, but an all-day air freshener.
3. Most importantly, it’s SO much better than the bought stuff. This candied peel has a far fresher, fruitier, zingier flavour. Trust me. It’s a totally different ball game.

We’re going to top and tail the oranges and score the peel into quarters.

Peel the skin off, including the pith (the white bit just under the zest)

Cut the peel into ½ cm wide strips.

Place the peel into a pan and cover with cold water. Then place the pan on a high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, drain the peel from the orangey water and repeat this process twice more. Tip: Don’t try to drink the orange water; you’ll think it’ll be nice. You’ll be mistaken. It’s not.

Pour water and sugar into a pan and simmer to create a syrup, adding the peel and candying to perfection.

Go on, give in to your domestic goddess calling. You know you want to.

Homemade candied orange peel
2 large oranges – I used Valencia
110g caster sugar
125ml water

Rinse your oranges, cut the top and bottom off each one and score the skin into quarters. Using your fingers remove the skin from the oranges and cut into ½ cm wide strips.

Place the peel strips into a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them. Place on the stove over a high heat until boiling. Drain the peel from the water and repeat this process twice more.

Pour the 125ml water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 9 minutes. Add the peel into the syrup and cook for 45 minutes-1 hour. Keep checking it to ensure it’s not boiling violently and adjust the temperature accordingly. Also avoid stirring the peels, instead swirling the pan around to coat those peels not covered. Once cooked, the peels should appear translucent.

Drain any remaining syrup from the peels. There shouldn’t be too much left but this orangey syrup can be a tasty addition to tea or gingerbread. Lay the peels out on a cooling rack and leave to dry for 4-5 hours. Store in an airtight container.

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