Monday, April 6, 2020

In the Kitchen during Social Isolation: Vin d'Orange Extravaganza

Like many of you, I haven't been able to settle down with books lately. I have been busy in the kitchen, instead. These are my adventures making vin d'orange--a fortified citrus-flavoured beverage that is lovely straight up and also in cocktails--and how I used the leftover wine-soaked oranges after the batch was finished.

Back in early February, I started a batch of vin d'orange. Alice Waters has recipes in two of her books: The Art of Simple Food II and My Pantry. David Leibovitz also has instructions online. A few days ago, I strained the oranges and poured the wine through a coffee filter to make it as clear as possible. That took an entire day, because drip... drip... drip.

What to do with the orange peels? Candy them! Last year, when I made my very first batch of vin d'orange, I consulted candied peel recipes in the aforementioned Alice Waters cookbooks. The books were published only three years apart, but the recipes are quite different. Since I had borrowed the books from the library last year, and now the libraries are all closed, I followed instructions I found online here: Food Network but I skipped the blanching step. The peel had already lost most of its bitterness by being soaked in white wine for two months. It turned out gorgeous and delicious. I use candied peel to decorate cakes, or in baked goods, or else I just eat it like candy. It's also nice chopped up and sprinkled on almond butter on toast--sort of like marmalade.

Next, I had a pile of wine-soaked orange flesh to deal with and I decided to make orange and date muffins. My trusty Mennonite muffin book--Muffins and Quick Breads with Schmecks Appeal by Edna Staebler--gave me a starting point, but I changed her recipe quite a bit. They turned out so well that I've since made two more batches (and gave most of them away to my neighbours).

Still to use up: the orange syrup created when I candied the orange peels. Also, all that vin d'orange! It's sunshine in a glass. For cocktail recipe ideas, I look for anything that calls for Lillet. Cheers!

1 comment:

theresa said...

This looks delicious.