Sonntag, 10. Februar 2013

Candied bitter oranges

Having lots of Seville oranges in storage I decided to pepare candied oranges as preserves. There are friends and family who would like to receive some. My mother ordered yesterday (it would be so nice if you could share some...) and is really thrilled about it. So I started to make the first batch, will make some more these days.

Candied orange peels

In Germany candied bitter oranges are known since ancient times. There are lots of cake recipes who call for diced candied orange peel.
Good manufactured orange peel is costly, while the cheap, store bought stuff doesn't taste that much and is not worth it. As my mother told me, during her childhood, 60 somewhat years ago, it was not hard to buy seville oranges (Pomeranzen in german language). My grandmother used to make candied peel a lot and my mother has good childhood memories about this: Grandmother used to dry the candied orange peel halves on top of the kitchen cupboard and often the children sneeked into the kitchen to steal some together with sugary drying quince pulp. The cupboards of my grandmother provided lots of treasures for children not used to Jelly bears. Now Seville oranges are something exotic.

How to make candied peels:
Peel 3 bigger Seville oranges, therefore cut the peel into quaters or halves. Remove the pulp but not the thick white part of the peel. Cook the peels in 2 liters water with 1 teaspoon salt added for about 5 minutes on medium simmering heat. Use a plate to keep the floating peels under the water surface.

Simmering peels in salted water
Remove peels from water and rinse them in a big bowl filled with cold water.
Refill the pot with fresh water.
Heat up the water and simmer the peels again for 5 minutes - no salt this time.
Rinsed the peels again in fresh cold water.
Repeat this step.
Afterwards let the peels drain on a wired rack about 1 hour.
These steps will remove some of the bitterness, not all of course, but quite a lot.

Drained peels

Now comes the candy making process:
Weigh the drained peels, take double of their weight amount in water and also in sugar (peels from 3 oranges ~ 1 liter, 1 kg).
Boil sugar and water until the sugar is desolved.
Simmer the peels in the sugar-water solution on simmering heat (small bubbles are rising from the pot bottom) for 5 minutes.  Flip them over from time to time. Let them cool down in the pot at room temperature - don't force the cooling down.

peels sitting in hot syrup after 1# simmering turn
Simmer the peels again for 5 minutes, flip them over from time to time and let cool down in the pot
Let the peels sit in syrup overnight (cold place).
Reheat, let simmer for 5 minutes, let cool down. 
Drain the orange peels (should be absolutely translucent) on a wired rack, flip them over after 1 hour and dry them overnight or fill hot syrup with candied peels in jars.

Draining the candied oranges


Sissi hat gesagt…

I don't think I have ever tasted candied bitter orange peel. Only "normal" orange. My mum used to put it into jars and used on some cakes.
I would love to taste yours! I'm sure the bitterness makes them less overwhelmingly sweet and more interesting.

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Yes, they have a very intense fresh taste and still some bitterness left, not tat sweet. Sevilles are loaded with essential oil and therefore incredible aromatic.

Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

There are similar confections in Japan, but the peels are cut into strips before simmered, like thi:

I think I'll make this today, and I may also make the chocolate-dipped version, too. Valentine's Day will come soon!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Hiroyuki, the strips have to dry. If they are still sticky wet, the chocolate may fall off. I think you may have to force the drying near a heating source, if the chocolate sticks are for Valentine. 48 h for candy making, 24 h for drying.

Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Thanks, Kiki! The peels are now being dried in my work room!