Let’s make candied peel

Our book of the week is The Other Boleyn Girl which follows the story of Mary Boleyn, sister to the infamous Anne Boleyn. In a novel focused on ambition and intrigue we thought we’d focus on the simpler sweeter things. A favourite treat of the Tudor court was candied peel and before it was made with sugar it used to be made with honey in a process that took 10 days.

Luckily, we now have a simpler recipe that we can follow to make candied peel that will take about an hour. The result is an achingly sweet peel that is great in cakes and lasts in a tightly sealed jar for up to six weeks. So, grab your fruit and sugar and let’s make candied peel.

Ingredients

  • Citrus fruit
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Jar

Step 1: Begin by chopping the ends of your orange and removing the flesh. You can then slice the peel into strips. Don’t worry about removing the bitter pith as this will be blanched and will become translucent and sweet in the candying process.

Step 2: Put your peel into a pan of cool fresh water and bring it up to a rolling boil for a couple minutes. Drain and begin the process again starting with cool fresh water. You will need to do this process 6 to 8 times. When the peel is soft and the pith is translucent you’re ready for the next stage.

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Step 3: Whilst step 2 is happening you will need to make your simple syrup. For this you will need to add one cup of sugar and one cup of cool water to a pan. Place on a low heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once the syrup comes to a simmer and is clear turn off the heat and set aside.

Step 4: Take a piece a peel and slice off a small section to check that you have gotten rid of the bitterness. If it’s still bitter, then bring it to a rolling boil a couple more times.

Step 5: Drain your fruit and add in the warm simple syrup. Boil for 15 to 30 minutes (more time may be needed depending on the size of the peel) until the peel is sweet and translucent.

Step 6: All the fruit mixture to cool. Once cool you can transfer to a jar and top up with the simple syrup and keep sealed in the fridge for up to six weeks.

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