Copyright The Bettina Network, inc. 2011
We discovered an elegant way to use the skins from the fruit we have for breakfast. Sometimes we serve oranges – different kinds – having taken off the skins and separating them into segments, putting the segments on the plate as beautifully as possible. Normally, we put the skins in the compost after breakfast, but this day, we julienned the skins, put them in one cup water and one cup organic turbinado sugar and let them cook until the temperature reached 240 degrees. What a great discovery! Oh, before I forget – we put the water and sugar in a pot with the fruit rind or skins and didn’t stir – we didn’t touch it, we just let it do its thing until it reached the proper temperature.
When the mixture reached about 220 to 240 degrees, we took the skins out of the syrup, put them in a pan of organic turbinado sugar and mixed them around until the skins were well coated. We took them out of the sugar, put them on a plate laying them out very carefully and let them sit overnight. The next morning the skins had hardened on the outside, were soft on the inside – not too soft, but sill recognizable as oranges – and enjoyed them on a little of everything. They were great to add a lovely touch to dessert dishes. We also put them out, in a cut glass candy dish, for snacks. We served bread pudding and decorated each plate with a few candied orange peels.
We took the syrup left from boiling the orange skins and used it to make Bettina’s Marshmaples – only without maple syrup in the dish we are going to have to rename those ‘sort of’ marshmallows.
This was a great find. Not only did we now have a use for something we would have – not thrown away, but composted – we had also found a way to add a lovely touch to breakfast and other meals with snacks inbetwen.
Onward and upward. We have been looking for ways to use the left over ginger root after we boil it to make ginger tea. What better use than this? After all, candied ginger costs quite a bit at the store and it is usually neither organic nor made with a really good sugar. So we put the Corning glass pot back on the stove, added one cup of water and one cup organic turbinado sugar and dropped in the sliced ginger, which had just been used to make ginger tea.
After about 15 – 20 minutes, the syrup reached 240 degrees and we took out the ginger root. We used the leftover syrup to make Marshmaples and they were also sensational. Marshmallows that taste like ginger. The orange rinds produced Marshmaples which taste like oranges. We have discovered something really great and alleviated the kitchen of leftovers that would be thrown out or composted. The flavor of the Marshmaples are real – not produced by using synthetic flavorings.
And we have found a way to use what would have been left-overs. As days move along, we hope to have lots of the candied fruit rind to offer guests and visitors as idle snacks to be eaten while talking, reading or just looking for something to ease that food craving and our dishes will begin to take on another look as we decorate with candied fruit peels.
P. S. We searched our cookbooks for recipes for this candied peel and found one major difference between their recipes and ours. All the recipes we found suggested you first ‘blanche’ the rind – in other words put the rind in cold water, bring the water to a boil, let them in the boiling water about a minute. Some went so far as to suggest you do this two or three times before candying the rind. A couple recipes suggested you bring water to a boil, put in the rind for about a minute before using them the way we did. We disagree. We didn’t know about blanching so we didn’t. We have tried making candied fruit rind the cookbook way and it tastes like a medium of some kind was used to produce another way to eat sugar. And in each recipe you had to add flavoring to the water and sugar to get the rinds to taste again. We just put the rind in the water and they came out full of flavor and had flavored the syrup so we could use it for other things. I can see using the syrup as a flavoring for a lot of different dishes.
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