It took several tries to get this addictive Candied Orange Peel just right. The first was too loose so I over-compensated the second time and entombed them in a really thick sauce. The last time I got it right.
Golden syrup, such as Lyle's, adds a lot of flavor to the peel. However, either that or the corn syrup keeps the syrup from getting granular.
I don't believe in boiling the peels to soften them because the valuable oils that make up the taste are boiled away. The slow cooking in this recipe allows the rind to soften and become almost creamy. In addition, I welcome the slight bitterness of the pith under the peel as a contrast to the bland version in the stores.
If you are coating the fruit in sugar or chocolate after drying, it is advisable to cut them a bit larger than the final size desired because the peel can shrink somewhat while cooking.
Navel Oranges are preferred for their thick skin. But not all Navel oranges are the same. Ideally, the peel, including the pith (the white part under the skin), should be ⅜" to ¼" when cut. Juice oranges have very thin skins and will not take to being candied.
I keep a jar of these Candied Orange Peel immersed in the syrup in my refrigerator. They are a wonderful addition to cookies, breads, cakes, and pastries. Additionally, I dry them and serve them plain, rolled in sanding sugar, or half dipped in chocolate. They are wonderful offered at the end of a meal. Of course, you can follow my example and just eat them whenever.
If dried, the Candied Orange Peel will stay soft for about a week or ten days after which it begins to harden. Stored in the syrup, these last at least a month or longer in the refrigerator. Just, take what you need, drain them, chop them and use as you wish.
Candied Orange Peel makes a wonderful gift, especially finished in sanding sugar or chocolate. It also ships well.
Preparing the Orange Peel
Cutting the peel from the orange is not particularly difficult. There are several ways of doing this. I am showing you one way.
Cut the top and bottom off the orange. With a sharp knife, cut the peel, including the pith, off following the curve of the orange.
If any of the flesh has been cut off, scrape it off with a serrated spoon so only the peel with the pith remains.
Cut the rind in strips about ¼ to ⅓ inch at their widest.
Another way is to cut the orange in half from stem end to the bottom. Cut each half into 4 pieces. Cut away the flesh of the orange leaving only the peel with the pith. If some of the flesh clings, scrape it off with a serrated spoon.
Cut each of these pieces ¼ to ⅓ inch wide. Proceed as below.
Candied Orange Peel
This recipe can be doubled if making a lot of Candied Orange Peel.
¾ cup water
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
½ cup golden syrup or corn syrup.
2 to 3 medium oranges
Bring the water, sugar, and syrup to a simmer. Add the orange rind. Bring to a slow boil for 10 to 15 minutes. The rind should be soft but not mushy. Pack into jars, covering with syrup. Place the lids on immediately. Cool and store at room temperature for a week or so. Refrigerate to store for several months.
Alternatively, place the rind on parchment paper and let dry for a day or two, turning over once. They should remain soft but not wet. It can also be cut in small dice to be used in recipes. This is best done by removing some of the peel from the jar and dicing it. It can be used immediately or dried and then used.
Finishing the Candied Orange Peel
The dried peel can be used plain or rolled in sanding sugar.
The peels can also be half-dipped into quick tempering chocolate made with 3 ounces of semisweet chocolate and 2 teaspoons shortening such as Crisco melted together.
Yields: Depends upon the amount of peel.
Citrus used in desserts is always welcome in my house. Here are a few recipes you might enjoy:
Chocolate Chocolate Truffles
Greek Orange Yogurt Cake
Very Lemon Butter Crisps
Poppyseed Cake with Orange Curd
Lynette Pruett says
Helen, you have reminded me of something I made years ago when we were first married. Living on a shoestring, I tried to find ways to utilize every foodstuff I could! The method I used then, however, called for boiling the rind first and draining off that water, and I can see how your method will preserve much more of the essential oil flavor.
I must make some of this soon as a reminder of those first few years of our marriage! Thanks for the recipe...
Hi Lynette - Food is such a wonderful way of connecting with people which is why I love giving it as gifts. I think you will find this orange peel makes a huge difference. When testing, I used quite a few oranges and I must say I certainly got my vitamin C during that time. i absolutely love these. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Ellen Trovillion says
thank you! I'm eager to try this. Someone who worked with my mom used to send home a small jar with her at the holidays and I always loved it. I've never had good luck making it, so I'm gonna give this a try. Merry Christmas!
Hi Helen, I am assuming the same would work for Lemon Peel. It's hard to find and I'd like to use it as a decorative element.
Hi Eileen. Please see my reply to Fern.
Can the peel from Meyer lemons be substituted for orange peels? My Meyer lemon tree/bush is loaded this time of year.
Hi Fern - I wasn't wild about the lemon. If you use lemon, remove a lot of the pith. It is much more bitter than the orange and I found it too bitter.
Fern M. Shinbaum says
Thank you! I'll have to figure out another way to use all the lemons.
comment from a reader...Meyer lemons are milder than regular lemons and I do not think the rind is quite as strong or bitter. If you do give this a try pull away much of the white pith that will make it even less bitter. Simmering for longer or letting the rind macerate in sugar over night might work. Works that way for Shaker Lemon Pies.
Can ginger be done the same way? I have seen some complicated recipes for candied ginger or crystallized ginger, one took 4 days!
Hi Nikki - I don't know about ginger but you could give it a try.