Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quick Fix: Dried Orange Peel

I keep dried orange peel in my cabinet for those times when I don't have oranges on hand but need the flavor in my cooking or for a recipe that calls for orange peel. There's nothing easier to make, either.

Whenever I eat an orange, I grate the peel off of it first. Then I simply spread the grated peel in a pan or a dish and put it in a warm dry place to dry. The top of my stove is perfect, or in the oven with the pilot light. It you don't have a stove with pilots, a spot by your heat vents or near your wood stove--or even under a lamp--would work well.

It doesn't take long for the peels to dry, usually 24 hours or less. Put them in a jar and into the cabinet (keep the light off of them to retain their bright color) and you've got a handy supply ready for use. You can reconstitute them with a little water if you need them to be soft for your recipe, but for most baking or cooking the dried peels will soak up moisture in the cooking process.

Add the dried peel to cranberries, to muffins, cookies, quick breads, pork recipes, herbal or black teas--there are so many possibilities. And if you need orange juice in a recipe and have none, soak a teaspoon of your dried rind in lemon juice  and add a little sugar for a substitute. It won't be quite the same but it's better than water as a replacement for the juice.

I'm off to writer's group and the recording studio today. I have written about 2000 more words on the story I mentioned last week (the one about the people who show up claiming to be relatives). It's coming along, a slow unwinding of a story set in rural Virginia (echoes of my childhood in a small Virginia town) in the early 1960's. In the studio, we'll be editing the family stories CD I recorded two weeks ago, and I may add one more story to it, a bit about what it was like to grow up in a family of 13 children.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday!

10 comments:

Country Whispers said...

Great tip!
I never thought to dry and store them for future use.

Rowan said...

Must 4 try that with or!nge peel especially as I love the taste of it. Glad the story is coming along - hope we get to read it eventually.

Aliene said...

I would never think of preserving something I usually throw away.
Neat idea. Thanks~

Carolyn H said...

I've never tried keeping orange peels on hand--great idea! How long can you keep them?

c. Joy said...

Thank you. I was wondering a couple of weeks ago (at Christmas) how to get orange flavor in my tea. Can't wait to try it. A jar is better than the freezer?

Angela said...

Thanks for the great tip Granny Sue! I never thought about doing that. I will be drying some oranges I have now so I'll have them for later!

Hope you have a Great Day too!

Granny Sue said...

Carolyn, I've kept them up to a year. As long as the peels are completely dry, and the storage place is dark they keep just fine.

c.Joy, I have never tried freezing them--that's an idea. Of course, if your freezer is like mine a little baggie of peels would be lost in the depths pretty quickly :/ And it depends on electricity, which the dried ones do not.

Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing another great idea!

Brighid said...

Good tip! I have two plates drying right now. Thanks, I will share with a dear friend who cooks, lol.

Marie said...

This is a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing it! I will get busy! :-)

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