Candied Orange Peel is very expensive to buy ($20 per pound and up for the good stuff), but relatively cheap and easy to make. This is especially true when you consider that orange peel is usually just thrown away. What’s more, the candied citrus you make at home will taste better than anything you can buy and be free from any chemical preservatives.
A lot of candied orange peel recipes call for using the entire peel, including the pith, but I find this to be pointless. All that boiling and sugar is intended, for the most part, to change and mask the taste of the pith because it is yucky! I sidestep all of that by removing almost all of the pith and focusing on the zest.
Here’s what you need to make this sweet treat.
- 2 oranges
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
Note: If you have more oranges, simply double, triple or quadruple this recipe. It scales up really well.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the outer layer of the skin of two oranges. Take care to not take off the pith, that’s the white stuff.
If you get some of the white pith, just scrape it off with a small paring knife.
Place the peel in a small sauce pan and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil.
Pour the peels and water over a strainer, discarding the water.
Repeat this process two more times.
After you pour the peel and water through the strainer for the last time, add 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup and 1/3 cups water to the now empty saucepan.
Bring to a low simmer, not a heavy boil, for 6-7 minutes. It will be around 230 degrees F, but thanks to the corn syrup, you don’t have to worry about that too much.
In the meantime, slice the peels into strips (or whatever size you want).
Add the peel to the hot syrup and give it one quick stir to coat.
Reduce the heat and leave the peels on a very low (the lowest) simmer stirring every 8-10 minutes until the peels are translucent, about 45 minutes.
Drain, reserving the syrup if you like. This extra-concentrated orange-flavored syrup makes a great sweetener for cocktails or ice tea.
What a fantastic color! WARNING: If you try to eat one right now, it will burn your mouth. How do I know? Just trust me.
Put the remaining cup sugar in a rimmed dish like a pie pan and place a rack over a rimmed cookie sheet next to it. Roll the candied peel in sugar and then place on the rack to dry.
Also great for mixing into cookie dough or garnishing cakes.
Here’s another little secret. Now that you know how to candy orange peel, you basically know how to candy any citrus peel (grapefruit, lemon, lime, even kumquats). Go crazy!
Here is some candied lime peel.