It’s easy to make homemade candied orange peel. Use it in fruitcake or dip it in chocolate for a decadent treat.
If you, like me, have a great affinity for oranges, there are probably plenty of orange peels hanging out on your counter. It seems like such a waste to throw them away. Luckily it’s not very difficult to turn those orange peels into something very useful. You could:
- Slice and dry – I do this and add to tea mixes.
- Dry in large pieces – a great addition to potpourri.
- Zest it – and add to baked goods.
- Use to infuse – infuse olive oil or vinegar with orange peel.
- Candy it! – Most of my late fall orange peels are turned into candied peel for fruitcake or snacks.
A few things to note:
- Don’t be tempted to by-pass the blanching steps (bringing the peels to a boil). Yes, this process is a bit tedious but it reduces bitterness. Have you ever eaten orange peel? It’s pretty bitter!
- I use most of my candied peel to make fruitcake; but it can also be dipped in chocolate, added to cookies, stuffed in a dried date or eaten as is. WARNING! These things are addictive! The first bite is a little bitter. The second bite is pretty good. The third bite is yummy. By the forth bite some sort of compulsion takes over and you can’t stop eating them.
- This same process can be used to make candied lemon peel or candied grapefruit peel.
- Homemade candied fruit is soooooooooo much better than anything you can purchase at the grocery store. Homemade candied fruit (peels too) have a rich fruity flavor that is also sweet. Purchased candied fruit seems to have a sugary sweetness and no flavor at all.
- 2 large navel oranges
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- Wash and peel two large navel oranges. If the orange peel has a large amount of pith (the white part), cut some of it away with a sharp paring knife.
- Cut the peel into strips about ¼ inch wide.
- Place peel in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drain. Repeat this step 2 more times.
- Set peel aside.
- Combine 1½ cups of sugar and ½ cup of water in the saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes or until soft thread stage (232 degrees).
- Add the drained peel and continue simmering gently. Cook for 30-45 minutes or until the peels have a translucent quality. Don’t stir while cooking as this could cause the formation of large sugar crystals.
- Drain the peels, roll in additional granulated sugar and let dry overnight on a rack.
- Store the candied peel in an airtight container.
Some other recipes you may find interesting:
How to Make Easy, Flavorful Candied Cherries
Candied Citron and Candied Quince