Candied Orange Peel

Yes, the recipes are getting simpler and simpler over here, owing to the fact that I was trying to cope with moving a whole house in one weekend, figuring out when to drive where for the holidays, which presents to bring to whom and why on earth I hadn’t labeled them and how to fix the mysterious filter that my car told me to fix before I could attempt to drive said car over roughly 2000 kms in one week. My interest in cooking had therefore taken a back seat, atop the skiing gear (except for the ski shoes which I forgot), right next to the box cleverly labelled “misc” which didn’t really give me a clue as to what exactly the hairdryer had been clanging against for the previous three hours of driving.

On top of that, all the radio stations in Germany are rubbish and the Austrian ones had decided to dedicate a good 3/4 of their usual 20-song-rotation to Christmas songs. I really used to love Chris Rea’s “Driving home for Christmas”, but if I would have had to listen to it ONCE MORE I would have personally shot the responsible radio DJ. Because

“It’s gonna take some time but I’ll get there
Top to toe in tailbacks
Oh, I got red lights all around
But soon there’ll be a freeway, yeah”

made me laugh cynically at the optimistic idiot who really believes that getting on a freeway will make anything easier. I wanted to grab him by the collar and yell at him to stop being so freaking naive and freaking MOVE HIS CAR OUTTA MY WAY.

The only thing that saved me from shooting random annoying drivers (and possibly radio DJs) had been snacking on approx. 20 kilos of candied orange peels while driving. Which had been intended as a gift to someone. Good thing I’d kept a second batch in the boot of the car which the mechanics fixing the mysterious filter hadn’t found or were kind enough not to eat (German professionalism!).

Very slightly adapted from Food 52:

Quarter some organic oranges.

step one

Cut the flesh out of them, leaving as much of the white bit attached to the peel as possible (if some of the flesh is still attached to the peel don’t worry).

cut peels

Cut the peel in thin strips and boil for a minute to get rid of the bitterness. Repeat  with fresh water. Next up, simmer the peels slowly in a mix of 4 parts water, 5 parts sugar – make enough of this syrup to cover the peels; that translated to  2 cups water, 2.25 cups sugar for my five oranges. Let the peels simmer for 2 hours or until they turn slightly translucent, stirring once in a while.

peels in syrup

When they’re done, fish them out of the syrup with tongs and leave on a baking rack to dry overnight. Do not forget to put some newspaper under the rack otherwise you’ll have to attack the dried syrup drops with really hot water in the morning. The next morning, your orange peels will still be a bit sticky so the salt and sugar you’ll toss them in will coat them nicely. Do add some flaky sea salt to the sugar coating, it makes the orange peel a lot more interesting. Don’t go overboard though. Keep on the passenger seat as road rage remedy or gift to friends, your call.

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