candied orange peel

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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
or
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.

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Comments

  1. I’ve never tried candied orange peel but I’d really love to try it and find out if I like it. Yours looks great!

  2. I actually do MORE baking around the holidays, since I’m usually snowed in, haha ;-)

    Lovely treat!!

  3. I’ve made them once before too– followed Pierre Herme’s recipe, which wanted a bit of the orange flesh as you peel the orange in a spiral manner. Yeah, that wasn’t fun :P It *never* dried, which was a great source of frustration for me. Maybe it’s our humidity, or maybe you guys are just better at this candy business. Five in a day! That’s diligence. I too love the combination of the bittersweet choc and orange– yum!

  4. manggy – Ah yes, that was one part of Jen’s recipe I meant to adjust. She says to dry for 4-5 hours, but after about 24 hours, mine were not quite dry still. It has been pretty humid the last few days, and I’m sure it’s really dry in Jen’s mountains. I’m guessing the humidity where you live could really affect that.

  5. nice job on the o. peels! actually made another large batch 2 days ago. while most were dry after 8 hours, i find 48 hours to be ideal (no sticky at all). we’re currently reporting 41% humidity, but there are times when we drop to 10%. i need to update that post… i never cared for candied orange peels before i made them myself – fresh and homemade is a world apart from the store bought junk :)

  6. Wow, are you brave! I’ve heard that this is a lot of work. It looks so pretty in the end. Hope your receivers eat it!

  7. i love oranges and chocolate! i’ve never made candied peels though…seems like a lot of work. maybe i will try them next year though, i am always looking for holiday gift ideas :)

  8. elisfoods says:

    Those look really GOOD! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Eli

  9. joelen says:

    These look amazing. I just bought 3 lbs of oranges to keep around as healthy snacks. I’ll have to remember not to throw out the peels (and peel the oranges carefully) so I can try this out!

  10. I love this stuff! ANd your packages are too cute!

  11. These look so good! What a perfect holiday treat to hand out as gifts. I’ll definitely be making this very soon!

  12. I love chocolate orange peels and make them regularly. You can take the pain out of the orange peeling my scoring the peels on the orange in 6 places then just peel in sections. I throw the orange in my juicer and use some of the juice in place of water in the sugar water mix.

    If you are have issues with drying, I have put them in my oven in a low temp 200 degrees and allowed them to dry that way, they should be sticky not wet. I don’t like to wait 24 hours so usually dip mine after 8 hours. Now they are a highly sought after treat by my family and friends.

    I love the photos in this blog!

  13. OH, I forgot to tell you, I keep the left over syrup and use in hot coca or Ice tea.

  14. izejkakyren says:

    I made these just a few hours ago and put them in the fridge to dry, couldn’t wait completely though and I grabbed one to eat. It was a little chewy and reminded me of those orange gummy jujubes I used to eat when I was little. Bloody tasty they are, especially chilled.

  15. We had soooo many oranges, so we have just made the candied oranges with chocolate…delicious!

  16. Ashley says:

    I am in the process of making these candies now. I was just wondering how long they will keep for? can i store the finshed product in the freezer? i am planing on making them for xmas gifts and like to get evey thing done ahead of time so that when the holiday comes around i have more time to spend with my family. thanks

  17. bridget says:

    Ashley – To be honest, I don’t really know. I mean, they’ll keep for a few weeks, but beyond that, I just have no idea.

  18. Benjamin says:

    I’m making a rough batch. I peeled the oranges in a ‘manly’ fashion (used my teeth and some fingernails ^_^). I don’t have any chocolate but i’m going to try to dip a few, while still wet, in hot cocoa mix. If they don’t taste great then at least I won’t have ruined the whole batch.

    Can’t wait to try them, thank you for the recipe!

    -Benjamin

  19. I tried this with tangerine peels as well as orange peels and found the tangerine peels even better because of less pulp and, hence, less bitterness. The pieces are smaller but the peeling is easier!

  20. Anita Coryell says:

    My mother always made me candied orange peel for my birthday, and it was heavenly. Rather than eat the sweet peels, I’d put one or two in my orange pekoe tea. A lovely and gracious way to enjoy a cup of tea. Company loves it. When the tea is done, eat the peel. Fantastic. I can’t wait to try your recipe. I’ve never been able to duplicate my mother’s candied orange peel.

  21. Valerie says:

    I’ve made this recipe twice now. I use two bags of oranges (~14 oranges) so I have enough for gift giving. This is what I’ve learned:

    – Cut the orange pole to pole instead of across the equator. With Navel oranges this makes for a longer strip. Although this does make the juicing trickier.

    – Leave the peels to dry until tacky before rolling in sugar, if they are drippy at all they clump and don’t look nearly as nice. I typically just leave them overnight and roll in the morning.

    – Once you roll in sugar, leave out again until they stiffen up a bit. It makes for an easier dipping process.

    I also store the remaining syrup in the fridge for use in cocktails and use excess sugar in baking as the slight orange taste is nice in a number of recipes.

    Thanks or sharing this recipe it has become one of my signature gifts!

  22. I think that looks really good!

  23. Can’t wait to try making these! The water the peels are boiled in that gets tossed… there has to be TONS of good stuff in there. Any idea if there is any re-use for the water?

  24. Devon – Do you ever make cocktails? I think it would make a great substitute for a regular simple syrup.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] candied orange peel (sans chocolate, believe it or not) rolled off the stove, and a delightful little treat in its own [...]

  2. [...] varieties that seem more common now, and if you’re feeling really festive, you could candy the peels instead of drying them. If you do that, you’re just a few steps away from a totally homemade [...]

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