Thursday, February 19, 2009

Remembrance of Dinner at Chez Panisse

Dessert at Chez Panisse the evening we ate included candied orange peel, yummy.  Here is the version from Alice Water's "Fruit".

Candied Orange Peel Dipped in Chocolate

5 oranges
4 cups sugar plus more for tossing
2 cups water
1/4 lb bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Cut washed oranges in half and juice them, saving the juice for another use.  Put the halves of peel in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil over low heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain peel, return it to the saucepan, and cover with cold water; bring to a boil and simmer 10 more minutes.  Repeat this blanching process a third time, simmering until the peel can easily be pierced with the point of a knife.  After this third blanching, let the soggy peel cool.  Scrape out most of the white part of the peel with a spoon and slice the peel into long 1/4 inch thick strips.
Put the strips in the saucepan and add the sugar and 2 cups water.  Stir the mixture over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Allow the peel to continue to cook slowly in the sugar syrup until it becomes translucent and the syrup is boiling in fast small bubbles; the temperature of the syrup should reach 230 degrees.
Turn off the heat and let the fruit sit in the syrup for 1/2 hour.  Drain and arrange the strips, not touching one another on a rack or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  The next day toss them with about 1/2 cup sugar and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 6 months.
Four ounces of chocolate will cover about 60 pieces of orange peel.   Melt the chocolate gently and carefully dip the long strips into it, leaving the end of each uncoated.  Lay strips on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate.