I have been making orange and lemon peel for baking and for general use in desserts only with honey as a sweetener, based on allowed ingredients list for this blog. Some time ago we made an assumption that pure glucose powder can be tolerated, the same way honey is. Our guess was proven to be accurate and as a result, I had an option for a sweetener in a dry powdered form in a recipe. It was particularly important to have a sweetener in a dry form, as some recipes simply would not survive without losing necessary textures and even taste. Glucose powder is essential in chocolate apple sponge recipe and as s drying agent for apple pastila surfaces.
Making orange peel with glucose powder gave me an opportunity not only to make peel with the moist and glossy surfaces, but to have an option to make coated peel, as cake decoration demands in some cases.
The process of peel preparation is the same, I have slightly changed it, compared to the first, honey recipe, I have published years ago.
- orange peel
- glucose/dextrose powder, quantity equivalent to orange peel
- lemon juice (15-20ml for every 100g of orange peel)
- thoroughly wash oranges
- take their skin off, cut the skin in strips with their size easy to manage
- using flexible knife cut/separate the soft white fresh from the skin
- place orange skin pieces in a sauce pan, cover with cold water
- cook on medium heat to a boiling point, discard water
- repeat the process, depending on oranges, it might be enough to discard water only once
- weigh boiled orange strips
- return them to the sauce pan, add water to cover the strips and 1-2cm over it
- add glucose powder, equivalent to orange strips weight
- cook on medium/low heat, add lemon juice when half of the liquid is left
- continue cooking until little or nearly no liquid left in the sauce pan, depending on how soft or hard you want orange peel to be
- transfer orange peel to a baking paper to dry, if you want to use nice individual pieces
- let the peel dry for 10-12 hours, or overnight
- coat orange peel with glucose powder if needed, shake the excess off
- store in a glass jar at room temperature
There is one very distinct feature of glucose based orange peel. Both coated and uncoated peel become harder in 2-3 weeks. Coated peel, with more exposure to powdered glucose, in 4 weeks time became very hard in texture, resembling that of a stone. To use them in fruit and peel mix for paleo Christmas cake, I had to re-hydrate them in water for 3 days, together with some dry currants and sultanas.
I personally found glucose based orange peel taste more favourable, compared to honey version of the peel. It did not have that distinct sour specific flavour, honey always brings. However, be aware that glucose based peel can’t be made in advance if used without soaking. After soaking it worked well in a mix with dried fruits and walnuts in paleo Christmas cake. Modification of original recipe to follow.
Happy New 2018 Year to all my subscribers and readers!