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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mứt Vỏ Cam (Candied Orange Peels)

One of my blog fans saw this Candied Orange Peels recipe online and thought of me; she sent me the link so I can check out all the holiday gift ideas.

These sweet and zesty candied orange peels not only sounds healthy but also looks beautiful and appetizing. It would add a nice touch to the holiday ambience. I decided to give it a try. I adjusted the original recipe and also created flowers using the tops and bottoms of the orange peels to make a beautiful garnish. As an aside, the orange syrup from cooking the orange peels can be used in with hot tea.  Add just a teaspoon of orange syrup into a cup of hot green tea to enhance its aroma.

These candied orange are completely dry with excess sugar frosting

Once done, my kids and husband could not stop munching on the candied orange. They're a great snack on long trips or for watching a movie. I think they pared well with a hot unsweetened tea. Since these are best when shared, I made a jar of the candied orange for my college roommate who traveled from southern California to visit us. I sent some to my family in Texas. At least they'll have something new to try this holiday season.

Merry Christmas to all !
* * *

12 thick-skinned Valencia or navel oranges
4 cups sugar, plus 1 cup for rolling
3 cups water

Cut the top and bottom of the orange then make them into flower shapes. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off pieces of the skin, cutting from top to bottom. If you want a longer length, peel all around the orange. Cut the peel into strips about 1/4-inch wide or leave in natural shaped pieces.

Place peels in a sauce pan and with water to cover. Bring to a boil with high heat and simmer for a couple minutes. Drain and repeat two more times depending on how much of the original scent you want to preserve.
Mix sugar with water. Bring to a boil. Add orange peels and turn heat down to a simmer. Simmer the orange peels gently for about 45 minutes over low heat.

Drain the peels. Keep the syrup to make lemonade hot tea or you can reuse it to make another batch of candied orange.

Place 1 cup of sugar in a deep plate. Dredge the peels in the sugar until they are coated, and place them on a cooling rack to dry for a 4-6 hours. You can also place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place the baking sheet in a warm oven at 200 degree and allow them to dry out. It should take about one hour. Make sure to check them often to prevent burning.

Once the peels are completely dry, scrape off any excess sugar clumps. Store them in jars and they can be kept for weeks.

Candied peels can be dipped in melted chocolate, enjoyed plain, or used them to decorate cake or cookies.

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