With Christmas presents in mind, these are fabulous gifts, if you can stick with the decision to actually give them away. Already I am thinking of alternative gifts to those I had earmarked for the chocolate dipped candied orange and lemon peel.
You need about 3 days and a strong willpower not to keep tasting as the candied peel dries out in the fridge.
I cooked the orange and lemon peel separately, keeping the lemon in a simple sugar syrup. For the orange peel, I found the exotic spices jumping out of the cupboard. Star anise, cardamon, cinnamon and cloves. It was an exotic concoction and worked very well to contribute a subtle background.
The best by-product of this exercise is the resultant syrup. I mixed the simple lemon syrup with the fragrant and spicy orange syrup and realised it is indeed God's gift to pancakes. I have had a constant batch of pancake batter in the fridge ever since! With a dusting of icing sugar I can promise you a memorable dessert.
- Take 4 or 5 each of oranges and lemons.
- Wash the peel and squeeze the lemon juice out. Reserve.
- Cut the oranges in half length and then quarter, cut the flesh out and carefully scrape away the pith.
- Slice the skin into thin strips.
- Bring the sliced peel to the boil and then discard. Do this a total of 3 times and drain.
- Make a syrup of one part water, 3 parts granulated sugar by heating gently to melt.
- For the spiced syrup make a plain syrup and add 7 cloves, 6 lightly crushed cardamon pods, a stick of cinamon broken in half 3 or 4 star anise. Wrap in a muslin pouch.
- Bring the peel to the boil and simmer for about an hour. You want the peel to be translucent.
- Drain the peel, keeping the precious syrup.
- Lay the peel out on a cooling rack and when cold, place in the fridge for 2 days to dry out.
- Melt 200gms best quality dark chocolate and dip the peel and dy on baking parchment.
These will keep well in an air tight container for 2 months, although I can't imagine they would last. For Christmas presents, drop into celophane bags and tie with a beautiful ribbon.
God's gift to pancakes