candied orange peel

Candied Orange Peel

Not having a kitchen thermometer and failing miserably at making caramel more times than I should admit are accountable for my fear of, and tendency to stay away from, recipes that involve boiling water and sugar. However, when holiday season rolled in last year and candied orange peel was no where to be found, I was left with no choice but to give homemade candied orange peel a try. It took a couple of attempts to end up with something that wasn’t God-awful bitter and inedible, but in the end I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to find out I could get through the whole process and obtain something that is way better than the store bought version (especially better than the candied orange peel that could be found in Venezuelan supermarkets, which is too green and chewy, not orange enough and very bitter).

We’ve enjoyed this candied orange peel in florentines and brownies, but it’s also delicious on its own. We’ve also prepared bigger batches to make small holiday treat bags to give away. Definitely a keeper in my book.

candied orange peel

Recipe notes:

  • You might notice the peel is not bright orange but that’s because we don’t such orange oranges in Venezuela (ironic, I know), they’re rather greenish. I try to keep an eye out for the ones that look the most orange, those I save for preparing candied peel.
  • I dipped and drizzled the ones you see in the photo with dark chocolate (about 60% cocoa). You might be able to notice by the photo that the chocolate is melting and not holding up, novice mistake of mine thinking I wouldn’t need to temper it properly; if you’re planning on dipping/drizzling them in chocolate I would strongly suggest considering tempering (I know I will next time).
Candied Orange Peel

The result of trial and error over several failed attempts.

  • Orange¬†skins
  • Granulated sugar
  • Water
candied orange peel
  1. Place water in a pot to boil.
  2. While you wait for the water to boil, wash the orange skins, remove the innermost (and most bitter) white part and cut the peel into long strips.
  3. Once the water is boiling drop the peel strips in the pot and boil for 30 minutes. Discard the water and repeat steps 1. and 3. i.e. boil the peel strips for another 30 minutes and discard the water.
  4. In a pot mix two parts sugar and one part water (the weight of both combined should amount to the same amount, in weight, of orange peel you’re using), add the orange peel and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer until the water-sugar solution reduces to a thick syrup and the orange peel is slightly translucent.
  5. With the help of a fork arrange the strips of peel on a wire rack and let dry for at least 3 hours. The syrup might taste slightly bitter, you can either discard it or do as I do and use it to sweeten¬†beverages (so far I’ve only tried black tea and it’s delicious thanks to the citrus touch that the syrup offers).
  6. You can either chop the strips into smaller squares to mix into baked goods (for example florentines, brownies, cookies, etc) or dip in chocolate (see recipe notes above).
  7. Store the candied orange peel in an airtight container.

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