I never liked to use candied peels in my fruit cakes.
I hated them.
But, I wanted to bake a Dundee cake, and candied peels are a crucial ingredient in the cake. Urrrghhhh! So, in order to bake a proper Dundee Cake, I decided to make my own candied peels, hoping they taste better that those icky store bought clumpy citrus peels that reeks of lemon flavouring.
When we make our own, we are sure that we use ripe fruit peels, clean and fragrant. I am a bit skeptical of the fruit peels used in the commercially made ones.
I had lemons from an aunt’s garden (brought to Malaysia from Australia) and I went to buy 2 organic oranges. The organic oranges were sooooo expensive, at about RM13 for 2 fruits, but I couldn’t bring myself to use regular store bought oranges.
The outcome was much better than I expected. The lemon rind was very very delicious and I had to stop my kids from snacking on them.
I made both orange and lemon peel at the same time. They were both boiled in the same pan, and cooked for the same amount of time, but the outcome looks very different, with the orange peel looking moist and the lemon peel looking dry. The only difference I took out the orange first, and the lemon ones were left in the saucepan for a much longer time. I’m not sure if the crystallization is due to the stirring during the cooling process or it overheated in the heavy bottomed pan. I had some smaller orange pieces left in the pot with the lemon pieces and those too, turned dry and crispy.
If these peels are for snacking, making them dry and crispy will be so yummy!
Homemade Candied Peel
2 unwaxed oranges*
2 or 3 unwaxed lemons*
1/2 + 1/2 tsp salt
300gm sugar (1.5X weight of peel)
1. Cut peel away from fruit. Keep fruit flesh for consumption. Trim the peel to remove all fruit flesh from the peel, if there’s any
2. Cut peel into thin strips around 5mm wide. Weigh the peel.(I got 200gm of peel strips.)
3. Put peel strips into a saucepan, put in 1/2 tsp salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. The water will taste bitter. Drain and repeat this step.**
4. Boil peel strips with clean water until the water taste bitter. Drain and repeat the boiling and draining. *
5. Put in 1 cup of water and sugar (1.5 times the weight of peel) and boil the peel until the syrup is at the consistency of runny honey and the peels look translucent.
6. Lift the peel up and lay out to dry on a wire rack.
7. Optional: Roll them with castor sugar (I didn’t)
8. Store in air tight containers, keep chilled (must) until use.
* If you don’t mind using regular lemons and oranges, you may. If you want to remove the wax, you can refer here
**Boil with salt water twice, boil with clean water twice.
|How I cut the peel|
|The peels are translucent. Turn off the heat.|
*I used the remaining syrup to sweeten my tea, and it was marvelous!
|Drying on a wire rack.|