Phoenix has a bazillion orange trees…they’re everywhere, and this time of year they’re in full bloom, heavy with the sweetest oranges I’ve ever had. So uniquely sweet, in fact, that I’m tempted to sneak in a bit of orange wherever I can. Here’s a simple, handy way to keep orange essence handy.
Makes a bunch
Preheat your oven to 250F. Using a nice sharp peeler, carefully remove the rind from several oranges, leaving as much of the white pith behind as possible, and taking the rind off in rather long pieces.
Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Spread out the peels on the pan, and pop in the oven. Set the timer for 7 minutes. When it rings, take it out and turn over the peels, and put back in the oven. You will repeat this process several times, until you get to the point where the peels are visibly dry. Take them off the pan and cool them on a dinner plate.
Later, check each of them to make certain the peels are bone dry.
I used an inexpensive blade coffee grinder (look at your local Good Will store or yard sale – you’re likely to find one of these for under $10). After you’ve made sure to clean the grinder of whatever was in it last, break up the dried oranges rinds into pieces small enough to fit in the grinder and grind. You want a fine, but not too fine, product – perfect for sprinkling on foods but not too find so the oils make it all stick together.
When done, store it in an airtight container, like a screw top spice jar and store it in the ‘fridge. Then, let your imagination run wild. Anything with chocolate gets a hit of OD, as do teas and toast with butter.
NB: use it sparingly…a little goes along way.
Recipe, adapted from the original from Becky Selengut
Photo, courtesy Quinncreative.com
Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, specializing in diabetic menus, and living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2014.