I don’t usually do much baking around the holidays. I bake so much anyway, what would I possibly do with more treats? So I’m not sure what possessed me to make five types of candy (in one day!) this year. I’m blaming Jen and all of her flawless confections.
This candied orange peel is her recipe. I’ve made candied orange peel once before. It didn’t knock my socks off, and I kicked myself for not using Jen’s recipe.
Candied orange peel, like most of the candy recipes I made yesterday, seems easy in theory but ends up involving a significant investment of time. (Or maybe it just seems that way when you wait until the last minute and have to make all of your candy recipes in one day.) Boiling the orange peel three times is no big deal, and simmering them in sugar syrup doesn’t take any effort. But juicing, cleaning, and slicing the oranges took more time and made a bigger mess than I had counted on.
I dipped about half of my orange peels in chocolate. The others I packaged into gift bags with some granulated sugar to (hopefully) keep them from sticking together.
I liked the peels far more than I was expecting. In fact, I thought at first that I was making them just for fun. I tried not to let it bother me than no one might actually eat them. But they might be my favorite of the candy recipes I made. I’m especially happy with the chocolate dipped ones. The bittersweet chocolate counters the sweetened peel so nicely. I think I’m going to go grab just one more…
Candied Orange (Citrus) Peel (slightly reworded from Use Real Butter)
4 oranges, peel of (or any thick skinned orange)
3 cups (21 ounces) sugar
1 cup water
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar for rolling
8 ounces chocolate for dipping
1. Cut the oranges in half across their equators and juice them. Cut each half in half again and take a spoon to scrape the pulp out, living a clean pith. You can remove some of the pith if you want, but it isn’t necessary because the candying process with remove (or at least overpower) the bitterness. Cut the peels into ⅛ to ¼ inch strips.
2. Place peels in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat on high until water comes to a boil. Drain. Repeat heating and draining twice more.
3. Combine sugar and water in the saucepan and boil over high heat until temperature reaches 230F. Add the peels and reduce the heat to a simmer, about medium-low. Simmer until peels are translucent (30 minutes or longer).
4. Remove peels from syrup and roll in sugar if desired, and set on rack to dry for several hours. Once the peel is dry, you can dip in dark chocolate – shake off excess, and place on foil, wax paper, or baking sheet to dry. Store in a tupperware, or if not chocolate dipped, store in sugar.