Take some orange peel. Bring it to the boil a couple of times to soften them and lose some of the bitterness. Then let them simmer in a heavy sugar syrup (1:1) for about an hour. Allow to drip for a day… or more… then roll in sugar and stuff into jars.
This is courtesy of Stephanie Alexander; the recipe is actually for candied lemon peel, which I’ve also made and is delicious. You can eat it by itself – Stephanie says a piece with a post-dinner coffee is delightful – or put it on things: I put a piece on top of some gingernuts before baking and that was a winner. Not sure where these will end up, as yet, but I anticipate they’ll keep pretty well.
Later: well, unfortunately some orange peel kept well, and some did not. Given that this is the same batch of orange peel I can only assume that I did not sterilise this jar as well as I should. Which is a really shame, since I think they were going to be very tasty.
Note to self: do not leave a bowl of nearly-ripe apricots out of the fridge when going away for a few days and it’s going to get quite hot.
I lost about half the apricots a neighbour gave us, which was sad. With the remainder, I decided to experiment with making apricot spoon sweets, although because of said disaster I halved the recipe (a kilo of apricots is quite a lot). I got the recipe from Kate’s Salt Sugar Smoke, which is a remarkable book of beauty (there are lots of variations online).
Making the sugar syrup and putting the apricots in for the first day was all very easy. The second day required a sugar thermometer. I acquired a sugar thermometer. I started boiling the sugar syrup. The thermometer would not attach to the side of the saucepan in a way that was useful, partly because there wasn’t enough syrup for it to reach. So I was boiling this syrup with the saucepan on an angle, so the tip of the thermometer could reach. This went on for some time. The recipe said it needed to reach 230F (my photo of the recipe cut off the C; lucky thermometers cater to old-fashioned Americans). Waiting… waiting… not reaching that temp… still waiting… bored… eh, I give up. How much difference will ~8F make, anyway?
Turns out, a bit. The recipe indicated that the syrup would cling to the apricots and be really quite thick. Yeh, not so much. It was still what I would describe as runny. Apparently I am a cowboy.
Result: two jars of apricots in a sugar syrup that I’m sure will still be tasty, even though not as stickily delightful as intended. Don’t know how I’ll use them yet…
Result, accidental: acknowledgement that I need to actually pay attention to recipes when baking.