Thursday, 12 December 2013

Return to Holy Island...

I'm very excited to be back at Lindisfarne Castle again this weekend for three very special Christmas Supperclubs! I'm currently in the kitchen elbow deep in candied orange peel, ginger syrups, beautiful whole salmon, candied nuts... all in preparation for an amazing feast!

I'll report back next week on how everything goes... smoothly I hope! If you are still interested in attending we have a couple of tickets remaining for Monday 16th December. To book just phone Lindisfarne Castle on 01289 389244.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Candied Orange Peel

I’m testing puddings at the moment for my upcoming festive supperclubs at Lindisfarne Castle in a couple of weeks time. It is a continuation of my collaboration with the National Trust that began earlier this year and has taken me in all kinds of exciting directions. In truth I’m not really a pudding person, but I can’t say that I’m hating a day full of sweet treats! I’m planning to serve a smorgasbord of different puddings at the supperclubs, all delicious and Christmassy.

So yesterday was pretty much full of puddings from beginning to end, luckily I had some lovely friends from London to visit so we forced them to eat everything I hadn’t already ‘tested’; perfect timing. There will be little pots of Christmas Cream or Christmas Syllabub, I can’t decide what to call it; but it’s full of whipped cinnamon cream, sherry sultanas, candied ginger and citrus zest. As well as lush candied spiced nuts, rich chocolate truffles, walnut shortbreads and these pretty little sticks of candied orange peel. They are so beautiful, and smell amazing, another contender for Christmas gifts I think too... You could just parcel them up in a brown paper cracker tied with ribbon, or a little cellophane bag? I have seen them dipped half in dark chocolate too if you’re feeling decedent.

You will need 2 large oranges and you will end up with roughly 60 pieces of candied peel, give or take... To peel them slice off either end of the orange, run your knife in a circle round the top in the pithy bit, then slice down through the skin, stopping before you get to the juicey bit, into equal sixths. You should then simply be able to peel away each sixth pretty neatly and evenly, the pictures explain it better than I have!

Then bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the sliced orange peel for 15 minutes. Drain the peel then get a fresh pan of water and repeat the same process again for another 15 minutes. In another pan, bring 300g of granulated sugar and 300g of water to the boil, then simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the drained peel to this sugar syrup and bring it back to the boil. Then heat and simmer on a low heat until the peel is soft and translucent, it should take about 45 minutes.

When they are ready drain the pieces of peel and let them cool separately on a sheet of baking paper. Keep the syrup as you can use it for baking or in cocktails, it is lovely sweet and orangey. Finally put the remaining 75g sugar in a bowl and roll each piece of peel in it until totally coated. Then leave to dry for 24 hours on a sheet of greaseproof paper.

They are so tasty, a bit bitter, but sweet and orangey, just delicious! You can try one straight away, they seem to get a bit softer after a day or two, and will keep for a month or so. I think they will look so pretty on my pudding board of delights at Lindisfarne Castle.