Monday, October 14, 2013

Drying orange peels

When we lived in Fort Worth, there were a ton of organic stores I could go to for various ingredients.  One thing I used to buy was dried orange is wonderful simming with cinnamon and cloves on the back of the stove during the holidays. 

I haven't had any dried orange peel in forever.    I was making ambrosia Saturday and decided to dry the peels so I could have some on hand.  Let me tell you, it takes a LONG time to clean the pith off a bunch of orange peels.  But it was totally worth it.

First I finished making ambrosia.  That recipe is HERE.  It is so good...and looks beautiful, see?  I make it all fall and winter long.

Okay, on to the orange peels.   When done with the ambrosia, you should have a bunch of orange halves that look like this.

Now, cut the peels into quarters.  Make sure you leave them in large pieces.  Small pieces are hard to hang onto and you can easily hurt yourself.

Now take the sharpest paring knife you can find.   I found that cutting down into the middle of the peel worked best becacause I could still hang on to one end.  You'll need to cut at an angle.  The goal is to cut away all the white....or as much as possible.  The white part (pith) is bitter.  I am going to use some of this in mulled cider so I don't want any bitterness.

So in sequence.  The first photo you see the membrane, second cutting it all away.  After doing one end, flip it and do the other end the same way.  The last photo shows the cleaned rind.

Take a break and drink some cocoa that sweet hubby surprised you with.  Pithing orange peels takes forever.  Seriously.  I mean, CRAZY long time.

Lay all your pieces PEEL side down and bake for about 3 hours on 200 degrees.  I did it while we were watching the game and just left them in the oven overnight.

I used about 10 oranges and ended up with this little treasure of orangey goodness.  

Oh my GOSH, it smells heavenly!  I love how bright the peels remained, and with the pith removed, no bitterness which means I can use it in recipes as well.

If you want to grind them, remember it takes a lot for a little!  I use my small processor.  About 1/2 cup yields a couple teaspoons.


Kerry said...

Can I come and just sniff your house please ...... Orange is one of my most favorite smells :-)
That is so sweet of Dean ..... I'm popping out just now - perhaps a Starbucks treat will just have to be on my To Do list :-)
Enjoy the rest of your day.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I had orange peels last week I wanted to dry but not willing to turn on our gas stove for that long. :/ I'd like to make some nice Fall simmering potpourri.

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