Recipe: Candied Orange Peel
Candied Orange Peel
Great eaten all by itself, as a very pretty addition to a holiday cookie tray or as an ingredient in many holiday recipes, candied orange peel is delicious. One way to use orange peels is to stuff a dried date with a piece of orange peel and almond, then dip the entire thing into dark chocolate. Any variety of citrus peel (lemon, tangerine, blood orange, etc.) can be candied using this method. Candied grapefruit rind is an especially good addition in recipes that call for candied fruit.
- 6 thick-skinned Valencia or navel oranges
- 4 1/2 cups sugar, plus extra for rolling
- 1 1/2 cups water
Cut tops and bottoms off of the orange and score the orange into quarters, cutting down only into the peel and not into the fruit. Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces, use the orange for another recipe. Using a sharp knife or swivel blade vegetable peeler, cut away the bitter white pith from the underside of the peels. The remaining peel should be approximately 1/8” thick. Do not worry if small amounts of white pith remain. Cut the peel into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat. Then pour off the water. Repeat 3 or 4 more times depending up how assertive you want the orange peels to be. Remove the orange peels from the pan.
Whisk the sugar with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 minutes (if you took the sugar’s temperature with a candy thermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 230 to 234 degrees F.) Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a simmer. Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 minutes. Resist the urge to stir the peels or you may introduce sugar crystals into the syrup. If necessary, swirl the pan to move the peels around. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cool, drain the peels in a colander (reserve the syrup for iced tea or cocktails).
At this point, turn your oven to 200 degrees. Place about one cup of sugar in a small bowl. Dredge the peels in the sugar until they are coated, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add more sugar if necessary. Place the sugar-coated peels in the warm oven and allow them to dry out. This should take approximately one hour, but check them every 20 minutes to ensure that they are not burning or cooking in any way. Alternately, they can be left to sit overnight on a drying rack instead of placed in the oven.
Once peels are completely dry, scrape off any excess sugar clumps. Store them in a dry location and they should keep for at 6 weeks weeks. Candied peels can be dipped in melted chocolate and enjoyed plain, or used in cake, cookie, candy, or bread recipes.