Saturday, October 13, 2012

Candied Orange Peels

Its already October and Christmas is just 2 months away.. Whenever I think of Christmas in terms of food.. all I can think about is my Mom in laws special chicken curry and chicken fry.. and Fruit Cake.. A traditional Fruit Cake requires quite a lot of preparation.. and this is the right time to start..

I am planning to make 2 types of Fruit cakes this time.. One for Adults and an another one for kids... Adult one is the special one and ofcourse the traditional one which is made some weeks in advance and is aged by brushing the cake with some brandy or rum once or twice a week.

I have a son now and he loves cake and so I would be making one more fruit cake but without alcohol and is loaded with dry fruits and candied peels ..

Traditional Fruit cake requires preparation some months in advance.. As the name suggest it is loaded with dry fruits.. walnuts, black currants, raisins, dates, prunes, candied peels, glace cherries, dried apricots, dried figs.. etc.. So the first part is to collect these ingredients... Dry fruits are easily available in the market, but candied peels can be bit difficult to find, but can be made at home like I did..

Very few ingredients are required to make candied peels..
- Peels of 3 Oranges
- 350 gms sugar
- 200 gms water
Candied peel making is a lengthy process though the ingredients are very few... Firstly clean the peels and cut it in strips and remove most of the soft fibre from it using a knife.. (I have used peels from two different kind of oranges, one is our Nagpur oranges and another one is the imported one and believe me our Nagpur orange's peels has lots of flavour compare to the other ones)
Take a big vessel and add sufficient water(to cover all the peels) and allow it to boil.. When it starts boiling, add the prepared peels and stir once to mix. Let it start boiling again.. and keep the flame on medium and cook it for 10 minutes..
Once its boiled for 10 minutes, discard the water and add fresh water to the peels and heat it again and let it start boiling.. After it start boiling, lower the flame to medium and cook again for 10 more minutes.. ( this process removes the bitterness from the peels and make it soft)... Do this process the third time as well.. and then drain the water and cover the vessel and keep it aside for a while...
After its cooled, Heat a pan and add 350gms sugar and 200 gms water and mix..Keep stirring till the sugar disolves.. then lower the flame and add the cooked peels... Mix well and let it simmer for 10 minutes...The mixture will appear foamy which means the peels has been cooked to the right consistency.. Switch off the flame and leave it to cool for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes transfer the peels along with the syrup in a clean bowl and cover it and leave it overnight..
In the morning heat a vessel and add the soaked oranged peels along with the syrup and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling reduce flame to low and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes... Make sure it doesnt burn.. Switch off the flame..and strain the peels and drain all the syrups...Spread the prepared peels on a tray or a plate,  making sure it doesnt overlap and let it cool completely...

Once its cooled completely ( in few hours) cut them in small cubes using kitchen scissor and store in an airtight container in the fridge...and it will stay for many months...
So next time, whenever you buy oranges.. make sure you reserve the peels.. and make candy at home....Hows that....Give it a try and let me know...Enjoy!!!

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