Candied Citrus Peel
Iasmin de Cordoba
At the time I prepared this dish, I did not have a recipe from either of the French manuscripts for it. The recipe I have now reads thus:
To MAKE CANDIED ORANGE PEEL, cut the peel of an orange into five pieces and scrape away the loose skin inside with a knife, then set them to soak in good, fresh water for nine days and change the water daily; then boil them, letting them come once to the boil only, in fresh water, and this done,
Spread them on a cloth and let them dry thoroughly, then put them in a pot of honey until they be quite covered therewith, and boil on a slow fire and skim. And when you think that the honey is cooked (to try if it be cooked, have some water in a spoon, and pour a drop of the honey into the water and if it spreads it is not done, and if the drop of honey remains in the water without spreading, then it is done), then you must take out your pieces of orange peel and set out a layer in order and sprinkle ginger powder thereon, then another layer, and sprinkle etc., and so on; and leave them for a month or more and then eat them.
I have not prepared this dish with the original recipe. Because I did not have the original when starting this dish, I chose to use Thomas Dawson's recipe as published in The Second Part of The Good Hus-wives Jewell (1597):
Take Cytrons and cut them in peeces, taking out of them the juice or substance, then boyle them in freshe water halfe an hower untilll they be tender, and when you take them out, cast them into cold water, leave them there a good while, then set them on the fire againe in other freshe water, doo but heate it a little with a small fire, for it not seeth, but let it simper a little, continue thus eight daies together heating them every day inn hot water: some heat the watre but one day, to the end that the citron be not too tender, but change the freshe water at night to take out the bitternesse of the pilles, the which being taken away, you must tkae suger or Honey clarified wherein you must the citrons put, having first wel dried them from the water, & in winter you must keep them from the frost, & in the Sommer you shal leave them there all night, and a day and a night in Honie, then boile the Honie or Sugar by it selfe without the orenges or Citrons by the space of halfe an hower or lesse with a little fire, and being colde set it agiane to the fire with the space of halfe an hower or lesse with a litle fire, and being colde set it againe to the fire with the Citrons, continuing so two mornings: if you wil put Honnie in water and not suger, you must clarifie it tow times, and straine it through a strayner: having thus warmed and clarified it you shall straine and sett it againe to the fire, with Citrons onely, making them to boyle with a soft fire the spae of a quarter of an houre, then take it from the fire & let it rest at every time you do it, a day & a night: the next morning you shall boyle it again together the space of half an hower, and doo so two morninges, to the end that the Honie or Suger may be well incorporated with the Citrons. All the cumuing sonsisteth in the boyling of this sirrope together with teh Citrons, and also the Sirrope by it selfe, and heerein heede must be takken that it take not the smoke, so that it savour not the fire: In this manner may be drest the Peaches, or lemmons Orenges, Apples, green Malnuts, and other liste being boile more or lesse, according to the nature of the fruits.
80-100 servings Ingredient
~30 citrus peels
enough to cover peels water
1-1/2 to 2 cups per each cup of water, white sugar
plus enough to sprinkle over the fruit
when it is done being boiled
Note: I recommend doing this in the evenings, before you go to bed.
(1) Cut the peel from your fruit and decide whether or not to cut it into strips or leave in sectioned pieces.
Sectioning the peel from the fruit is an easy way to get the peel you need in nice long pieces for cutting into strips. Because citrus
is strong in flavor, even after the entire process of candying it, I suggest cutting the peel into bite-sized strips. The best method for getting the peel into strips is to use a table-top rotating peeler, like an apple peeler or one of the new, commercial rotating potato peelers. Using a peeler such as this will eliminate the need to scrape off the pith inside the peel.
(2) Cover the peels with water to about 1-inch above the peels and simmer for about 20 minutes.
(3) Drain the peels, cover them with cold water and let them sit for about 8 hours or overnight.
(4) Drain, cover with cold water and simmer for about 20 minutes.
(5) Drain, cover with cold water and let sit for about 8 hours, or overnight repeating until the peel is tender and water is relatively clear.
The number of times you will need to simmer, drain, cover and repeat varies depending on type of fruit and thickness of peel. You should be able to remove any excess pith after second or third simmering, depending on the tenderness of the fruit you started with.
My recipe took nearly 6 days of simmering and repeating, but because it only took about 10 minutes of my attention each time, it was not a tedious chore.
(6) Cut the peel into bite-sized pieces and simmer them again, this time saving the water.
(7) Measure how much water you have and add 1-1/2 to 2 cups sugar for each cup of water you have.
(8) Boil the sugar and water together, making a syrup.
(9) When it has reached a syrupy stage, add the peels and remove from the mixture from the heat, letting it sit overnight.
(10) Simmer peel in syrup until the syrup is almost gone and the peel is translucent.
(11) Drain the peel from any excess syrup that might still be in the pan.
(12) Spread out the peel on cookie sheets or waxed paper.
(13) Sprinkle sugar over the peel to coat it lightly.
You can speed up the drying process by placing cookie sheets into a 200°F oven after you turn it off. I chose to spread waxed paper on my kitchen table and dry the peel overnight, slowly. NOTE: This is an excruciating temptation for a curious cat.