Growing up my fondest memories of oranges was a mouth watering orange milk pudding my mother prepared for us every year during the first arrival of oranges in the market during orange season. As a kid I wasn’t very fond of oranges except for this preparation, though over the years like almost all citrus fruits oranges are among my favorites. From appetizers to desserts and heady cocktails to accompany your meal it is one of the most versatile fruits. In this recipe I decided to experiment with my mother’s recipe of orange milk pudding over a weekend project and utilized the whole fruit (barring the seeds of course) . This dish requires a bit of an effort and patience hence ideally needs to be planned ahead of time but it is well worth it in the end! You can wow your family , friends or dinner guests who will ask for more.
The key idea behind this dish is to use the whole fruit which includes the peel which is often thrown away. It’s never a good idea to throw away orange peel, especially if you love marmalade! Of course and who can forget chocolate covered orange peels, absolutely delicious!! You can also use zest orange peel and use it for cooking by combining with spices. The zest spice combo gives the mixture a different dimension of aroma and flavor and can be used to marinade meat especially poultry. It has also been studied that the plant pigment compounds present in the peel ( present in all citrus fruits) is known to have health benefits. Besides you can simply use dried up orange peel as a flavoring agent as a substitute for zest.
Candied orange peel used in this recipe can be made in advance and used in baking dishes especially tea time cakes and breads. Before we move on to the actual dish let’s take a look at how to make orange peel candy. The key to making orange peel candy is removing as much bitterness as possible from the peel.
Ingredients for the Candied Orange Peel
- 2 medium sized Oranges
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups sugar divided
- Using a vegetable peeler remove the peel from oranges closely or you could cut the top and the bottom and remove the orange core from the peel if it’s loosely attached. Sliver the peel into thin strips.
- Place orange peel in a sauce pan covered with water, bring to boil for 20 minutes. Drain , rinse the peel and repeat the process one more time.
- Now in the same sauce pan add 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the orange peel and simmer for about 45 minutes till the peel is very soft. Drain the peel after 45 minutes . Toss the peel in the remaining cup of sugar and let it dry on a rack for 1 day or till the peel and the coating is dry with no moisture. They are now ready to be used in the preperation and you could store the remaining for later use in baking or coating with chocolate!
Orange Milk pudding
- Juice of the two oranges used for the candied peel (including the pulp)
- 1 teaspoon gelatin crystals
- 750 ml milk
- 3 table spoon sugar divided
- Thai Holy basil leaves for garnish
1, Reduce 750 ml milk by boiling , bringing to a simmer and stirring constantly for about 20-30 minutes till it’s reduced to 1/3rd of the original volume. During the boiling add 2 tablespoon sugar to the milk.
2. Add orange juice, a little water and 1 tablespoon sugar in a saucepan bring to a boil then reduce to low heat. Sprinkle the gelatin crystals and remove from heat and let it set aside till a jelly is formed.
3. In a martini glass fill half with the reduced milk, let it cool for an hr. Then add a layer of orange jelly followed by topping with milk.
4. Made a chiffonade of holy basil leaves (you can use regular basil if you can’t find holy basil) and sprinkle. Add a few candied orange peels to the milk pudding as shown in the picture.