Candied Orange Peel — Winter Preserving

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Last week I made Orange Cranberry Chutney (recipe in an upcoming post) and had lots of fun canning.  It all started with a case of oranges… fresh up from Florida via one of my CSAs.   I ended up with a lot of peel left over–perfect for making candied orange peel! 

Leftovers are perfect for making candied orange peel

Leftovers are perfect for making candied orange peel

Hooray for winter preserving!

I had never made candied orange peel before, though I had done candied ginger.  But the first question I had wasn’t how to make it (there are recipes everywhere), rather what to do with it when I was done. 

Although everyone posted pictures of candied orange peel dipped in chocolate, I was a little hesitant to go there (my weight watching resolution is already challenged).  But it turns out that you can chop them and add to all kinds of baked goods–just think of the places you’d use raisins!  Biscotti would be wonderful and I adapted an old bread recipe which we now like even better (also in a future post).

Candied orange peel in a jar

Candied orange peel in a jar

Did you know that orange peels are actually good for you?  Some sources even say they are more nutritious than the juicy inside.  According to Oprah.com “The peel contains more than four times as much fiber as the fruit inside, and more tangeretin and nobiletin—flavonoids with anticancer, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties.”  The peels even have vitamin C.  Back when I had Guinea Pigs, they loved orange slices and would eat them peels and all–and we all know what good taste Guinea Pigs have (except they like fennel–uugghhh).

If you want to try making your own candied orange peels, you should look for organic oranges.  Conventional orange peels may have pesticide residues and are sometimes coated with with dyes and waxes. 

Candied Orange Peel with oranges

Success!

Here is how to make candied orange peel:

Peel oranges and slice into strips.  (If you are dipping in chocolate, some people prefer wider rectangles)

Peel Orange

Peel Orange

Slicing strips for candied orange peel

Slicing strips for candied orange peel

Put the peels in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, then drain.  Repeat twice.  (this step reduces the bitterness in the orange peel).

Boil orange peel

Boil orange peel

 Boil in sugar syrup for 45 minutes.  Drain, then toss in granulated sugar.

Toss orange peel in sugar

Toss orange peel in sugar

 Dry on a rack for a day or two. 

Candied orange peel drying on rack

Candied orange peel drying on rack

Candied Orange Peel

Ingredients

  • sliced (organic if possible) orange peel (I used peel from about 3 oranges, but this is flexible)
  • 1 c water
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • extra 1/2 – 1 c sugar for coating

Directions

  1. Place orange slices in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, then drain.  Repeat twice for a total of three times.
  2. Combine water and 1 1/2 cup of sugar in saucepan.  Heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Add orange slices, bring just to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes until softened and translucent.
  3. Remove orange peels and save the syrup for tea or other uses if you’d like.  Drain orange peel and toss in additional sugar to coat.
  4. Place on rack to dry for a day or two.
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13 Comments

  1. Fascinating, I had no idea that the peel was so good for you. I’ve never made candied orange peel but I too wondered what to do with it. That’s a great idea to add it to baked goods.

    • I know you do scones, which I’ve heard people using it for also. Hmmm, a few more days before the (scone-baking) kids go back to school…

  2. Didn’t know about the high-nutritive value of orange peels. Instead of candying them, I’ve always ever used them for skin care (believe it or not!). That said, I’ve always wanted to make candied peels but held back because I thought it would be far more labour-intensive than this!

    • Wow, skin care–have you ever posted about this? I put some grapefruit zest into a salt scrub but decided the sea salt I used was too abrasive, so that one is back to the drawing board.

      • Nope, I’ve never blogged about it. What you do is: remove all the white stuff from the peels so you’re left with a very thin, all-orange colored, peel. Let this dry completely (takes a few days) then powder it. Traditionally we add it to a bit of chickpea flour, make a paste with water and use it as a face scrub. I suppose it can also be used all on it’s own, as a paste made with water?

  3. I’ve actually made Candied Orange Peels before, Inger. Just recently for the first time. The recipe I followed had you zest the oranges first to get off all the white. (which as you say is the most nutritious part:) The rest of the instructions were the same. Mine were a bit limp until they started to cool off. Except for using them as a decoration though, I had no idea what else to do with them. Now I know:)

    Thank you so much for sharing all this sweetness, Inger…

    • Stay tuned Louise. There are some more candied orange peel recipes coming up. BTW, as I researched this, I saw a lot of discussion around taking off some or all of the white. Most seemed to say leave it on unless it is very thick so that was what I did. Glad to know they work both ways. I did think of your martini board and how they’d likely work well in some of the drinks!

  4. I’m usually not a fan of citrus anything, but these candied peels look good!

  5. I’ve bookmarked this for when I get home – and thanks for the tutorial as I didn’t know about the bringing to a boil first. I’m presuming I could do this with lemons too as I often see recipes calling for candied lemon rind.

  6. Pingback: Orange Currant Bread | Art of Natural Living

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