This recipe is really fun, super rewarding, and couldn’t be simpler. I have always loved those sugar coated candy fruit wedges. I don’t think there is any actually fruit in them though. Candied citrus peels are the next best thing in my book. They are the perfect elegant garnish or fine to just snack away on. This recipe is also great because it’s a 3-fer (three recipes in one!), so scroll down for two bonus recipes!
Domestocrat’s Candied Orange Peels
5 medium oranges
1.5 cups water
1.5 cups granulated sugar (divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup)
Start by giving the oranges a good scrub.
Next slice the tops and bottoms off the oranges.
Now it’s time to peel ‘em. I cut each orange in half first then slid a paring knife carefully around the outer edge of the orange flesh. Be sure not to cut off the pith (white part of the skin), it adds flavor and body to the candied peels so keep it on there.
You’ll then have two separated skin and orange pieces. Feel free to use the paring knife to trim excess flesh off the peel.
I suggest having two bowls on hand: one for peels and one for orange innards. Don’t throw away the peeled oranges though! (see bonus recipe below)
When all of the oranges are peeled it’s time to cut strips for candying. Using a sharp knife, cut the peels into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces.
Transfer the sliced peels to a sauce pot and boil over high heat for 3-5 minutes. This reduces the natural bitterness in the peels.
Boil, drain, rinse, and repeat 2-3 times. It doesn’t take that long and is a crucial step to have delicious candied orange peels. (i.e. Don’t skip this step!)
When the peels have been boiled make a simple syrup: combine water and 1 cup of sugar over high heat until it begins to boil and the sugar has dissolved.
Slowly add in the orange peels and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the peels and simple syrup for 1 hour, stirring continuously. You can’t really leave this alone because the sugar will burn. I stirred mine at 10 minute intervals for the full hour.
After 1 hour transfer the peels to a bowl to cool for 10 minutes. Don’t throw away that orange sugar water! (see bonus recipe below)
While the peels are cooling set up a wire rack and a large plate for your extra 1/2 cup sugar. I used a Trader Joe’s bag under the wire rack to catch any dripping sugar goo and it worked great.
Transfer the slightly cooled peels onto the wire rack and let them cool for another 20 minutes.
When the peels are cool to the touch, transfer them in small batches to your sugar plate, toss to coat, and replenish the sugar as it gets used up.
Put fully candied peels back on to the wire rack.
At this point all you need is patience. The candied peels will still be gooey and warm. I let them sit out uncovered on the kitchen counter for 24 hours. I then packaged them into an airtight tupperware container and put them in the fridge for another 24 hours. When they are done they will be dry, slightly harder, but so delicious! Citrusy, sugary, like candy. Enjoy!
But wait, there’s more! I promised you two extra bonus recipes, didn’t I? Well here they are.
Bonus Recipe #1 – Don’t throw away that orange sugar water! What you have there friends is orange simple syrup! The perfect addition to any cocktail, mug of tea, or seltzer water beverage. Just store in an airtight tupperware container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Bonus Recipe #2 – What to do with all of those peeled oranges? Make fresh orange juice!
This would’ve been way easier if I had a juicer but I don’t. My method is a little labor intensive but totally worth it.
In a blender or food processor puree the heck out of the 5 oranges.
Transfer the pulpy mixture to a strainer over a bowl. Let gravity do its work for 5 minutes or so, you’ll get a good bit of the juice dripping into the bowl immediately but it’ll dwindle.
Help the pulp along by pressing the rest of the juice out with the back of wooden spoon. This is super easy, it just takes a few minutes to really get all of the moisture out.
You’ll end up with about 20 oz. of orange juice!
Chill for as long as you like, pour into a juice glass, and enjoy with breakfast!
Now that’s three recipes for the price of one! Which is your favorite?