Can I just take a moment to tell you all how excited I am about Mixed Conference this weekend? Chung-Ah from Damn Delicious is flying into Dulles and on Friday we’re taking a (gulp) 5 hour drive along with friends Jackie and Erin to the Mountain Lake Resort in Pembroke, Va. Dirty Dancing was filmed there and I will gladly carry a watermelon to hang out with some of the amazing guest speakers and talented bloggers in attendance. One of my favorite food photographers, Helene Dujardin, will be teaching a workshop! While I’m packing for the journey, allow me to leave you with these wonderful spiced candied orange peels. They are really addicting. I gave the majority of them away so I would stop shoveling them into my pie hole. I have no control around these little delicacies. Do you see all of those tiny specks of vanilla? Those equal intense flavor. Add to that some cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves and a bit of black pepper. Spicy holiday decadence to the max. I just know you will love these as much as I do.
Yields 4 cups
- 4 medium or large oranges
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar + 1 cup for coating
- 2 cups water
- 1 vanilla bean, split down the middle
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 6 cardamom pods, smashed
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole cloves
- Cut the orange into quarters. Use a spoon to scoop out the fruit but be sure to leave as much of the white pith attached as possible. Slice the peel into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick or smaller.
- Place the orange peels in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain and repeat this process 2 more times using fresh water each time (do not skip this step because it removes the bitterness from the peel).
- Clean the saucepan with soap and water. Add the water, sugar, vanilla bean, peppercorns, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce to a simmer and add the orange peels. Simmer on low heat, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until the fruit becomes slightly translucent, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and a cooling rack. Using tongs, remove the orange peels from the syrup, shake off any excess liquid and move to the rack to finish draining. Don't discard the syrup, it's wonderful in drinks. Allow the candied orange peels to dry overnight.
- Toss with sugar before serving.