Fourth Advent Candle,
Candied Orange Peel
Day Eighteen on the Advent Calendar
Window eighteen is:
Lighting the Fourth Advent Candle
It’s the last Sunday in Advent…….Christmas Eve is only six days away now and the excitement is growing; yes, I STILL love Christmas and all the tinsel, carols, mince pies, Angels, fairies, baubles, lights, cake, crackers, glitter, sweets, holly, mistletoe, zany Christmas jumpers, patterned pairs of socks, stockings, chocolate coins, chocolate, tangerines, stuffing, bacon rolls and everything else that is associated with this time of year. I am just as excited now, as when I was a little girl, anxiously waiting for Christmas Eve to arrive with all the mystery and tradition that surrounds that special time…….
There are jars and jars of preserves, pickles, mincemeat, chutneys, jams, bottled fruits, home-made liqueurs, curds, cheeses and jellies all lined up in my pantry, some to be given away as gifts and some to enjoy at home; the cake is made, the mince pies are an ongoing daily baking duty (we inhale them in my household and there are never enough!) and the store cupboard is full of biscuits, cakes, sweets, chocolates and other treats. The turkey has been ordered and the stuffing will be made with fresh sage from the garden……the sprouts are resting in the cool of the scullery along with a large sack of potatoes and some freshly dug parsnips.
Just ONE more task, to replenish the candied peel I have used for my epic baking quests lately! I also want to make some more to dip in chocolate as an after dinner treat…….and maybe to give as gifts, if there are enough left that is. I usually make a double batch of candied orange peel and a single batch of grapefruit peel. I LOVE using this home-made peel in all my baking, and once you have made your own, you will NEVER go back to the commercially made peel ever again. If you make a batch of this today, you will have a wondrous store for the rest of the festive baking season, as well as the odd chocolate dipped citrus treat if the desire takes you. So, I’ll leave you to it……..I am off to make some more mince pies now and I’ll see you all tomorrow……have a lovely Advent Sunday,
Candied Orange Peel
Once you have made home-made candied orange OR lemon peel, you will never go back to using commercially produced peel again! This is such an easy recipe & yields enough candied peel to accommodate most of my recipes using peel for quite a few months. You just need to be organised and have an airy & dry room available for the drying process. This peel enhances any recipe calling for peel, and actually TASTES like oranges. I often keep the peel taken from fresh oranges in a container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or until I have enough to make a batch.
- 6 oranges (about 1 kilo)
- 350g caster sugar
- 600ml water
- caster sugar, extra
- Scrub the fruit well. Using a sharp knife remove peel and pith from fruits in large pieces, I like to cut them into quarters.
- Place the pieces of peel in a medium sized saucepan. Cover with cold water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Drain.
- Repeat this process twice. The peel should now be almost translucent. If not, continue with the process once more.
- Drain and slice into 3 mm thick strips, or leave in attractive quarter pieces.
- Place the sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan. Cook, stirring over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add peel; simmer approximately 45 to 60 minutes, or until the syrup has nearly disappeared.
- Remove from heat. Place the peel on a wire rack that has been placed over a baking paper lined oven tray. Cover and allow to dry overnight.
- Toss the peel in extra caster sugar to coat it lightly.
- Arrange sugar coated peel in single layer on baking paper until touch dry, 2-3 days.
- Store in airtight containers until ready to use.
- The peel will last several months if kept in dry, dark & cool conditions & and in airtight container.
- Snip the peel into small pieces to use.
DO join in this event here, and here’s a few more details:
Some themes for money saving ideas that I have thought up are:
- Dishes using cheaper ingredients – cheap cuts of meat or vegetarian
- Meals using leftovers
- Meals using up the ends of packets
- Substitutions of cheaper ingredients
- Packed lunches
- Meals that use less energy to cook
- Pressure cooking
- Slow cooking
- Faster cooking – less oven time for example
- Batch cooking for the freezer
- Using Sustainable foods
- Food you have grown yourself
- Meals from reduced food in the supermarket