Sunday, August 8, 2010

candied orange peel

I am blessed to have some really amazing friends. Earlier this summer, one of them pulled a group of us together to go see an outdoor Shakespeare production. It was a perfect June evening and a brilliant production. At intermission, light refreshments were served. To me, they were an example of a simple thing done very, very well. There was a small variety of crackers (water crackers, oat biscuits), a couple of cheeses (blue cheese, brie), dried cranberries and blueberries, glazed pecans, and candied orange peel. This was all served with little glasses of champagne or lemonade. It was just a perfect assortment of things to nibble and the orange peel was a fun zingy sweet surprise. Our little gang of friends had fun coming up with "perfect bite" combination's (my favorite is oat biscuit, brie and orange peel). I decided that I had to steal the idea.
The recipe below is from Martha Stewart. I confess, it is a bit fiddly, but not at all difficult. It is also something that could be completed far in advance.
I intended to take pictures of the orange peel with brie and crackers (as I first had it) but I'll be frank, in my hungry greed I piled it on whatever I had around. This turned out to be some shortbread cookies and creme fraiche. It is certainly not a terrible idea.

Candied Orange Peel

makes 1/2 cup

3 oranges
1 cup sugar

1) Using a citrus zester or vegetable peeler, shred long strips of orange peel. (I found it helpful here to use a vegetable peeler to strip off the peel and then a small knife to julienne it.)

2) Place strips in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain; repeat two more times with fresh water.

3) Place sugar in a clean saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add the citrus strips to the boiling syrup; reduce heat and simmer until strips are translucent, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat; let strips cool in syrup, at least 1 hour. Remove from syrup when ready to use.

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