Candied Peels, Ginger and other Confections by Channon Mondoux and the Eclectic Kitchen
1 Dozen lemons OR
½-1 pound of fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
1 teaspoon food-grade calcium hydroxide, also known as pickling lime (OPTIONAL if you want a
crisp candy result)
2-3 quarts Water (you will need to replace this repeatedly)
Regular Granulated Sugar (6 cups)
2lbs Super Fine sugar (or sugar that you have ground down from fine)
Powdered ginger (if you wish to make the French version of candied peel)
6-8 quart Heavy bottomed pot (or a crock pot for initial soaking)
Baking sheet and parchment paper or wax paper
Small mesh strainer
Containers to store candied fruit (can be jelly preserve jars, plastic jars, even bags, or small
wooden boxes but something that is not entirely exposed to air or the contents will dry out)
There are many sources for recipes for candied fruits, spices, and roots- we will review two-
15 th C Turkish Source (Sirvani)
[132 verso] Ağaç kavunu Murabbası — Candied Citron Peel
Directions: Cut citron, remove the thin outermost layer of the peel, and make [the rest of the peel] into slices. Soak the following 7 days and nights in salt water, changing the salt water every two days. Then soak for one day and one night in lime* water. Then leave the peel in
fresh water and keep for 7 days, changing the water every day until all salt is removed. Then
soak in sugar syrup until it sinks. Leave [in syrup] for ten days, stir. As the syrup [133 recto]
decreases, add more back in. [When] the slices have completely absorbed the syrup, remove
from the syrup, clarify this syrup, boil [the fruit] in this very syrup. After it reaches consistency
[i.e. thickens] keep thirty or forty days in [remaining] syrup which may have rose water in it.
Then remove, arrange on trays, cover the top with a clean cloth, let it stand in the sun to dry
until it turns into nebât [i.e., crystallizes]. Put in kovanlara [wooden containers], eat at any time.
Bitter/ Seville orange and lemon peel can be done like this.
Note (Ellen Perlman) : Based on other historical and on modern recipes, during the “thirty or
forty days” of keeping the pieces of peel in syrup, they were removed every day with a strainer
spoon, the syrup brought to the boil, removed from the heat, and the peel put back in. * Mary
İşın noted: I have checked with later Ottoman recipes and this part is always removed because it is particularly bitter. Also, as the photos below show, this fruit has a knobby surface, which is cut away. Friedrich Unger says the citrons are first “finely peeled”. My husband’s aunt used to make grapefruit peel jam and grated off the outer skin using the fine side of a grater. **modern cooks would use food-grade calcium hydroxide, also known as pickling lime
– Note (mine)- pickling lime is used to make crisp product- if you want your candied peel to be
soft, do not use pickling lime.
European Source – Le Menagier de Paris, 14th C French Household Manual
The Menagier de Paris, (Goodman of Paris) wrote this household manual to assist his young
(suspected to be 15 years old or so) to help her run the household after his demise (it is
suspected was quite her senior)
Le Menagier de Paris (c)Janet Hinson, translator (daviddfriedman.com)
For chamber-spices [goodies served in the drawing-room or dressing-room (JH)], that is to say, candied orange peel, one pound, ten sous. – Candied citron, one pound, twelve sous. – Red anise, one pound, eight sous. – Rose-sugar (white sugar clarified and cooked in rose-water (JP), one pound, ten sous. – White sugared almonds, three pounds, ten sous a pound. – Of hippocras, three quarts, ten sous a quart, and all will be needed.
Elise Fleming (Dame Alyse Katherine OL, SCA) has published an excellent article on the topic
here; candied-peels-art (florilegium.org)
The Florilegium is an excellent source for many period recipes and sources
ORENGAT: From Early French Cookery: Sources, History, Original Recipes and Modern Adaptations. Scully, D. Eleanor and Scully, Terence, University of Michigan Press, 1995. ISBN 0-472-10648-1. The original recipe reference given is Menagier de Paris, p.265/§352
“Pour faire Orengat, mettez en cinq quartiers les peleures d’une orenge et raclez a un coustel la mousse qui est dedans, puis les mettez tremper en bonne eaue doucle par neuf jours, et changez l’eaume chascun jour; puis les boulez en eaue doulce une seule onde. Et, ce fait, les faictes estendre sur une nappe et les laissiez essuier tres bien; puis les mettez en un pot, et du miel tant qu’ils soient tous couvers, et faites boulir a petit feu et escumer. Et quantvous croirez que le miel soit cuit–pour essaier s’il est cuit, ayez de l’eaue en une escuelle, et faites degouter en icelle eaue une goutte d’icelluy miel, et s’il s’espant, il n’est pas cuit; et se icelle goute de miel se tient en l’eau sans espandre, il est cuit–et lors devez traire vos peleures d’orenge. Et d’icelles faites par ordre un lit, et gettez pouldre de gingembre dessus, puis un autre, et getter etc., usque in infinitum; et laissier un mois ou plus, puis mengier.”
To make Orengat, put the peels of an orange in five quarters and scrape the pith inside, then
put them to soak in good water for nine days, and change the water each day; then boil them in water in a single wave. And, this fact, the dishes lie on a tablecloth and let them dry very well; then put them in a pot, and some honey while they are all covered, and boil over a low heat and skim. And when you believe that the honey is cooked – to see if it is cooked, have water in one plate, and let it have a drop of honey, and if it is running, it does not is not cooked; and if this drop of honey is held in water without dissolving, it is cooked – and then you have to strain your orange peels. And of these made in order a bed, and put ginger powder on it, then another, and layer etc., usque in infinitum; and leave a month or more, then eat.
Ranciata: The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval recipes for today. Santich, Barbara, Chicago
Review Press, 1995. ISBN 1-55652-272-X. Recipe originally from the Liber per Cuoco. (Santich)
Toy la scorza del ranzo e fane quellii pezi che tu vole e curali ben dentro, miti a mole per 15 zorni poy le lessa in aqua tanto che sia tenere, lasale sugare per tri zorni, poy lomiti in lo mele che tu la voi bolire per tri zorni, poi la fa bolire un pocho e chambia poy quello mele e miti l’altro chon le spezie; ma prima le specie siano messe dentro sia spumato lo mele, bolla tanto che ‘l mele sia ben cocto, poy la lassa alquanti zorni a l’aiere senza sole.
Take orange peel and cut it into pieces as desired and clean the inside, and set them to soak for 2 weeks then boil them in water until soft, leave them to dry for 3 days, then put them in the honey that you wish them to boil in for 3 days, then boil them a little and then change this honey for the other with the spices; but first the spices have to be put in the honey; then boil these together, skimming, until the honey is well cooked, then leave them to dry for several days in the fresh air, out of the sun.
Italian – Translation of Libro di cucina/ Libro per cuoco (14th/15th c.) (Anonimo Veneziano)
Translated 2003 to January 2005 CE by Helewyse de Birkestad, OL (MKA Louise Smithson) from the transcription of Ludovico Frati (ed.): Libro di cucina del secolo XIV. Livorno 1899 prepared and made available online by Thomas Gloning.
Last updated March 28th 2005. http://helewyse.medievalcookery.com/libro.html
CXXX To make a good and delicate dish of oranges
Take the peel of the oranges, and cut into as many pieces as you want, and clean the insides
well (free of white pith). Soak the peels for fifteen days in water, then put them to boil in an
excess of water until they are tender. Let them dry for three days then put them in honey
which you will boil for three days (bring the honey to a boil and leave the peels overnight).
Then you will give the honey a short boil and change it. To that honey one will add the peels
with spices. First the spices are mixed into the skimmed honey, then the whole is boiled until
the honey is well cooked. Then you will leave the peels a number of days in the air without sun to dry.
CXXXI To make a chopped orange dish in another way
Make this dish the same as that above, except that one does not change the honey and the
orange peels should be finely chopped with a knife, then cooked in the honey. Bear in mind
that they should be cooked so much that the honey is almost hard. It needs a very slow and
temperate fire to cook the peels together with the honey and it is done.
Simplified Recipes- These recipes reduce time by using heat and of course that does
sacrifice the exact duplication of the recipes above. I have done the recipes in the exact fashion and believe we are making a fair compromise. However, feel free to follow their instruction painstakingly and share your results!
1 dozen lemon or oranges – juice reserved for other use. If you are able to find citron
(and likely you will find the Buddha’s Hand variety) please be aware that a great deal of the pith
will be removed-
water to cover
6-8 cups water
6 cups sugar
3 cups superfine sugar (for drying) — or more
¼ cup lemon juice (to keep syrup from crystalizing)
¼ cup of rosewater or orange flower water IF desired (this replicates the Turkish recipe)
Even organic citrus peels are often treated with chemicals and pesticides so it is important that we address this by soaking-The process I’m going to use involves heat to a boilto remove the bitterness and chemical and speeds the process up tremendously. Although we could also add the lime water soak if wanting to replicate the Ottoman recipe– because this will help to remove chemicals from the peel but also will create a more crisp candy. If you want to have a soft “sucket” or chewy candy skip that process. The period Turkish instructions are very explicit and can be followed easily.
Before you have juiced your fruit you can remove the skin easily with a vegetable peeler. Try to make long full strips. Place the peels in a container and cover with water. You will bring this to a boil and strain. Repeat for a total of 3 times. Cut into 1/4 inch wide strips, any odd shaped pieces can be chopped later to make a lovely citrus sprinkle. I also then juice the lemons to use in another application as well as provide lemon juice to prevent the syrup from crystalizing.
To prepare your peels for candying; either follow the explicit directions above or using a crock pot place peels and cover with water.
Bring to a simmer for 1 hour, cover and let soak overnight, pour off and repeat 3 times. Then
move to next stage of process;
Make your syrup; Heat water in a heavy bottomed pot. Add sugar and dissolve. Stir
occasionally until the syrup goes clear. Add the lemon juice (or rose water/orange flower water) and citrus peel and stir. Keep covered. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a very low simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat allow to rest 15 min to 1hour or overnight if you wish. Strain peels. Return syrup to heat, bring to a boil. Let cool and rest overnight. Repeat. Do this up to 5 times.
Strain out peel through a sieve lined with cheese cloth. At this time separate out small odd
shaped pieces and mince or chop. Reserve the syrup and use for drinks or other sweetening.
Line a cookie sheet with sides with parchment and place 3 cups sugar. Add citrus peel strips.
Shake the tray to coat the peel. Add more sugar if needed. Separate the strips from the sugar.
Lay strips on trays lined with parchment. Cover with screen or cheese cloth and let dry
overnight. Repeat with the chopped peel. Place in an airtight container and cover with sugar.
Keep in a cool dry place. Use the peel as a candy and the pieces to decorate cakes, add to
cookies, and sprinkle on ice cream, yogurt or your favorite cereal. You can also use any
additional sugar as a “flavored” sugar for tea or other purposes.
Ginger specific; Peel outer skin off of the ginger. Slice into ¼’ rounds (small pieces can be chopped later into garnish sized)- place in pot with about 2 inches water above line of ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer on very low for several hours until soft (continue to add water as needed). Strain and reserve liquid for another use. Repeat process over several days if necessary. Once you can pierce easily with your fingernail, strain (always reserve water for another use- ginger has many healthful properties) and create a simple syrup like above (6 cups water/6 cups sugar). Since I am peeling the outer layer away I do not feel the need to dump the water.
Prepare syrup and repeats steps above to candy in the syrup; Taste the ginger and once it has
become very soft and has absorbed the sugar syrup strain (again reserving syrup for another
use). Dredge in fine granulated sugar and let dry. Box or package when cool and pack with extra sugar- keeps indefinitely.
Other heavy peel fruits can be used ; grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime (although I have not found good texture with lime peels) etc. (but not banana peels!)