A great trick if you are on the run and need to peel an orange without a knife. + Recipes using orange segments and how to make candied orange peel.
Things to do with orange segments once you have peeled your orange
ORANGE SEGMENTS WITH YOGURT AND PISTACHIOS
– Make a simple syrup*. Add a teaspoon of orange flower water to it along with the seeds of one cardamom, add the orange segments and chill. Add another spoon of orange flower water to a bowl of thick creamy Greek yogurt and top with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios. Serve with the oranges. (For Chilli Ginger Orange Segments, add a 1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped red chilli or a teaspoon of chilli jelly to the simple syrup when you are cooking it (see below) and use a spoon of orange-flavoured liqueur instead of the orange flower water. Add some finely chopped ginger to the syrup.
* To make a simple (or stock) syrup: heat equal quantities of sugar and cold water together, over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves – keep cooking the syrup until it thickens. Leave to cool – it will thicken further – then use in your recipe.
ORANGE SEGMENTS WITH AMARETTO
– Soak the orange segments in Amaretto. Serve over vanilla ice cream with crisp biscotti or sablé biscuits.
HOW TO MAKE CANDIED ORANGE PEELS
Make the best of the orange peels you removed from the orange: cut the peel into strips, remove the pith, place them in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover, then bring to the boil. Strain and repeat three times. Make a simple syrup* (see above) and add the orange peel strips. Simmer the peels until they become translucent – it will take 30-40 minutes. Strain the peels, pat them dry, roll in caster sugar and dry on a baking rack overnight if possible. (The finished peels should be hard and dry and make a satisfying noise when you drop them on the kitchen counter.) Store them in caster sugar (it will flavour your caster sugar which you can use to make cakes and orange-scented icing) or use the chopped candied peel in cakes and desserts or serve them as part of a cheese board.
Note: It’s only worth making candied orange peel if you have the peel of at least 5 oranges.
A note on Orange Flower Water
Orange flower water is distilled from orange blossoms and is also called Orange Blossom Water. You’ll find it in good food stores. It is used as a flavouring in pastries, desserts, drinks and is widely used in Middle-Eastern cooking.
Photograph © foodpixies.com