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A simple syrup is just equal parts granulated sugar and water. It can be used to sweeten iced tea and cocktails, and add moisture to cakes and other desserts. Making ones own simple syrup can be kind of fun depending on what flowers or fruits are used to enhance it. A recent trip to Whole Foods yielded two bags of culinary grade rose petals and lavender flowers. They were no sooner home in our kitchen and we were turning them into syrups for iced tea, a takeaway we were recently reminded of on a visit to Hopsesee Plantation where my Mother and I had a real chuckle over Dad trying to keep up the sweetness of his tea whilst our server Karen continued to refill him. The sugar and water are combined in a saucepan, then you add a natural flavorant such as petals or fruit peels. In this post, we will use orange peel. Boiling simple syrup allows for the maximum flavor of the orange peel oils to be released, and also allows it to keep longer once prepared.
You want to make sure when you peel the orange that you are only getting the orange part, not the white pith under the peel. That pith is bitter. I have a fantastic citrus zester and peeler in one and it does a perfect job of this. I can easily peel the entire orange with no pith in no time.
Ingredients For Orange Simple Syrup
1-quart water (filtered or distilled)
1/2 lb. granulated table sugar
3 oranges, the peel only, sliced
Under luke warm water, wash the oranges. This is an important step to ensure any residues are rinsed away. Pat dry and peel.
Combine the water, sugar and orange peels in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. The one I am using for this method has a strainer lid which is genius for this recipe. Stir to combine, bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
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