Candied Orange Peels – Sweet treats rich in flavor!
Candied orange peels left hanging to dry
It’s no secret I hate to throw things out. A spot inspection of my pantry would likely surrender enough yogurt containers to fashion a full-size igloo or satisfy the production needs of a Yoplait plant. And while all that I glean is not gold, orange peels are a strong exception. In fact, I argue it’s one of the best uses for California and Florida’s finest fruit. No denying, a fresh juicy orange is an exceptional treat, but candied orange peel takes citrus to a whole new level of edibility.
It’s the perfect marriage of texture and flavor. Dip them in dark chocolate (known as an orangette) and your tastebuds won’t know what hit them. I first started making candied orange peels after a sweet visit to David Lebovitz’s blog who wrote about them in his Quick Mincement Pie Recipe. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Before you slice one orange, see my tips below to simplify the process and enhance the flavor at the same time .
Tips for making candied orange peels:
- Use organic oranges, no telling what’s on the sprayed variety.
- Don’t soak rinds in salt water (step one in killing any and all flavor)
- Don’t boil rinds in water and drain repeatedly before adding to sugar syrup (step two in ensuring you have nothing more than a flavorless chew toy)
- I add sliced peels directly to the pan as I eat oranges. I just keep them in a lidded stainless steel pan on the stove. I add peels, simmer, cool…add more, simmer, cool until I have a good batch.
- After racked to dry but tacky to touch, I dredge some in sugar, as seen in last photo–a very fine candy.
- Chop up some candied peels to use in baking, or on top of steel cut oats, or tossed in salads
- Save syrup (and spike with Grand Marnier) for a million uses as a flavor syrup
Here are the basics steps and the Candied Orange Peel Recipe
I love candied citrus rind! I also made orange a couple of weeks ago, intending to use it on small, individual chocolate cakes (which I haven’t gotten around to making yet). It is disappearing quickly and I may be forced to make more.
I love them as well – I used to make them every year at Christmas time. I just recently discovered this though: http://sustainableeats.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/healthy-traditional-orange-marmalade/ which reminds of the flavor without the sugar and works great in baked goods and amazing on pancakes with maple syrup.
Your orange peels are beautiful!
Thanks for the reminder – I haven’t made these in 30 years!
[…] one year ago: Orange Peels: Too Good to Toss, Candy Them […]
[…] I add orange zest and chopped candied orange peel for an added […]
I want to use your tips but am a bit confused. I have the problem of not being able to eat enough oranges for enough peels at once. You say you add peels in a pot as you eat them. Is this pot full of water only to blanch or do you skip the blanching process and simmer in sugar syrup as you keep adding? Thanks for the awesome recipe.
Sorry for the confusion. I’m with you, because I can’t eat more than a couple oranges a day, I add them as I eat, to the pot in a sliced strip form. The pot is full of sugar syrup. Usually one cup sugar to one cup water ratio.
I skip the blanching process as it dilutes the flavor dramatically. You end up tossing out essential oils and flavor and I’ve never understood that step in some recipes. So again, I simmer up so sugar syrup, and add orange rinds to the mixture as I go. I add more sugar syrup to keep up with the rising level of orange peels. I’ve had a pot going for weeks on end. Just heat up and stir once in awhile and keep the syrup going. Hope this helps.
Thank you, Tom, for your quick response. I was able to start my first batch and have continued to add to it. This is my first time making these and they are so sunshine-y delicious and aromatic. I may not have ever tried to make these on my own if I went on thinking that blanching them was necessary. I used kitchen shears to cut them into strips. Cheers!
[…] Candied Orange Peels […]
Tom Just read this today (april 2012) and would like to say that I hope the peel is organic otherwise there is a witches brew of pesticide and wax on those orange beauties- don’t know what exposure to high temperatures might then do to the chemistry of the compounds. Buck brand has lots of organic citrus fruit.
Sandra you are so right. I use organic oranges only. I’ll add that to the post, thanks for the keen point.