Everyone pairs IPA with blue cheese or curry or Gruyere but a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a marvellous pairing – IPA with candied orange peel. It’s incredibly easy to make but somehow has the illusion of being something a bit special. So here, especially for IPA Day is the recipe.
1½ cups sugar
¾ cup water
Extra water for boiling
- Using a knife, slice the skin from the oranges, taking care to keep the pith attached to the peel.
- Remove any orange flesh from the peel.
- Slice the peel into narrow strips – I do them about 4mm wide but if you want them to be a bit crunchier, slice them thinner.
- Cover the pieces with water and bring to the boil. Discard the water (if you’re in the Cape, use it to flush your loo) and then bring the to the boil again with fresh water. Let them boil for about five minutes, then drain again. Put the peel to one side.
- Add the sugar and water to the pan and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then add the peel and bring to a simmer.
- Keep simmering for about an hour. Don’t stir as it can cause the sugar to crystallise.
- Transfer to a sheet of baking paper to cool, then keep in the fridge in a tupperware.
- If you fancy a little extra decadence (on top of the masses of sugar), dip the peels in melted chocolate and return to the fridge before serving.
- Serve with a bottle or three of IPA.
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s close to impossible to mess up. The first time I made it, I was busy working on a deadline in the office and totally forgot all about it. I popped into the kitchen after the peel had been simmering for around an hour and a half to grab a cup of tea and thought ‘ooh, it smells nice out here…ah shit’. And it turned out to be awesome. Funnily enough, since writing this I returned to my latest batch to find virtually the whole thing has turned into one giant crystallised chunk. Still tastes good though, and if you want to find out for yourself, come join me at Banana Jam this evening – I shall bring a tupperware along for late evening snackage (to follow on from all the other awesome snackage, which includes hop wings, Buffalo wings with Cascade butter, IPA chilli nachos and coconut IPA brownies).