The primary time I tasted orangette—after making a batch out of curiosity and form of anticipating to hate it—my tongue perked up in recognition. It was like a gourmand model of these sugared gummy orange “slices” besides manner higher. Orangette, or candied orange peel, is now my go-to giftable vacation sweet.
Orangette is fancy however not fussy. You’ll spend just a few hours making it, however you’re by no means a slave to the thermometer or the clock. It additionally solely has two components: navel oranges and granulated sugar. (Additionally, you will want wire cooling racks.)
Begin by shopping for as many navel oranges as you may think about your self peeling with out starting to hate your life. I’ve constructed up a tolerance over time—and I do know simply how good orangette tastes and the way particular it appears to be like in reward containers—so I purchase ten kilos of oranges. Be happy to make do with much less.
This video reveals my peeling and slicing method, however truthful warning, it was filmed by a toddler who was holding the digicam in a single hand and consuming a Christmas cookie with the opposite. I slice off the highest and backside of the orange, run the knife tip across the high of the pith, after which quarter the orange. I then use my thumb to separate the peel from the juicy half. Be happy to eat or juice the orange flesh; it’s not a part of this recipe in any respect. I slice the peel into strips in regards to the width of McDonald’s french fries.
Proper now, these of you who’re acquainted with citrus zest are most likely considering, “however you need to take away the white pith, proper? Pith is bitter!” That is true however completely irrelevant. Don’t scrape off the pith. It supplies the pectin for that gummy texture, and we have now a plan for coping with its bitterness:
Boil the orange peel slices, after which dump out the water. Boil the orange peel slices, after which dump out the water. One final time! Boil the orange peel slices, after which dump out the water.
The bitterness is now virtually gone, and what stays will probably be hidden by the huge mountains of sugar you’re about so as to add. Go get your mountains of sugar now. I’ve seen recipes calling for 2 cups of sugar for 4 oranges, and for 4 cups of sugar for 2 oranges. I don’t consider it issues, so long as it makes you go “wow, that’s quite a bit.” For my ten kilos of oranges, I take advantage of about two kilos of sugar. Dump it in to the pot of peels with sufficient contemporary water to cowl, and stir to dissolve whilst you carry the combination to a boil.
Simmer for about an hour, till the peels are delicate and the liquid has boiled all the way down to a syrupy goo. It doesn’t matter what temperature this goo boils at, or what it does if you drop it into chilly water. Your oranges have been cooking in sugar for an hour so there’s actually no manner you possibly can have messed this up.
Now comes essentially the most time consuming half: you’re going to get out some wire cooling racks, and lay every particular person orange peel slice all the way down to dry. This takes some time—about half an hour for my ten kilos of oranges. Placed on some vacation music and sing alongside to move the time. If the goo is scorching sufficient to burn your fingers, use chopsticks.
(For those who do not need and can’t get wire cooling racks, you may lay the peels out on parchment, after which as soon as the highest aspect is dry flip them over so the underside aspect will get an opportunity to dry. I don’t advocate this method, however I did it for years earlier than I lastly caved and purchased three massive racks. My life has since improved.)
The orange peels will probably be moist with goo if you lay them out, however by the subsequent day they are going to be dry and sticky to the contact. Don’t proceed if they’re nonetheless moist. You can be sorry. This isn’t a recipe to hurry.
The final step is an effective one to get youngsters concerned in, in the event that they’ve been whining about how they wish to “assist.” Fill a bowl (any bowl) with sugar, and have them drop the sticky orange peels into the sugar and roll them round till they’re coated. Now you might have completed orangette! You possibly can retailer the items on finish in a cute little mason jar (or, , dump them into an enormous tupperware) with some additional sugar for good measure.
If you wish to get a bit of fancy, you may skip the sugar and dip them into tempered darkish chocolate. Or chop them up and add them to recipes. (I roll them in sugar even when I intend to cut them, so the items received’t stick collectively.) A milk or darkish chocolate bark with almonds, orangette, and candied ginger is superb.