Last Christmas Jan made Grand Marnier Balls as giveaways. The recipe she created called for candied orange peel, which is surprisingly expensive. I decided to make my own, to avoid the cost this year. Once I was done, I was left with about two cups of orange infused sugar.
I found that this orange sugar was very good for making my Guinness beer bread. It gave the bread a nice enhancing flavor, as a secret ingredient, but the lumps of sugar did not dissolve completely. This gave the bread an interesting sweet crackling crust. My family quickly became addicted to this bread.
I used this sugar sparingly until I ran out about a month ago. I did not want to go to all of the effort to make another batch of crystallized orange peel. So what was I to do?
The answer was surprisingly simple and now I can use orange infused sugar whenever it strikes my fancy.
Karl’s Orange Infused Sugar
2 Tbs. zest from one large navel orange
1 cup white granulated sugar
1. Zest the orange completely and mix it into the sugar.
Tip: You may actually use any citrus fruit you like.
2. (optional) You may spread out the sugar on a lipped baking tray and drip some of the orange juice onto the sugar (no more than a teaspoon).
Tip: If you do this, be careful not to use too much, you are not trying to dissolve the sugar, just to get it to form a few clumps of sugar crystals.
3. Put the sugar in an air tight jar and let it sit for about a week.
Note: Once you zest an orange the complex compounds that make the peel bitter start to break down into smaller compounds that humans find flavorful.
4. Shake the jar about once a day to keep the sugar loose and separated. It will them be ready for any recipe that needs a quick boost of orange flavor.