Candied Orange Peel

published Oct 16, 2022
christmas
Candied Orange Peel Recipe

In the event find yourself with far too many oranges this winter, the leftover peels can be boiled in syrup and rolled in sugar to make this delicious sweet.

Serves4

Prep18 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook40 minutes

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A photo of strips of candied orange peel in a small glass bowl with some additional candied ginger out of the bowl next to it.
Credit: Maria Do

If you want to make your home smell like the holidays, make candied orange peels. They’re a delicious sweet treat to make when you find yourself with more oranges at their peak in winter season. You can dip them in chocolate, use them as a cocktail garnish (winter Pimm’s cup or cranberry margarita, anyone?), place it on top of a dessert (like cheesecake or chocolate cake), or add it to a holiday or winter trail mix (like this berry walnut mix). This recipe makes enough peels to fill a small bowl, but if you’d like to make more to give as gifts, double or triple this recipe.

Credit: Maria Do

Tips for Making Candied Orange Peels

  • Use organic oranges. For this recipe, I recommend purchasing organic oranges, as we will be consuming the outer peel.
  • Blanch to remove bitterness. Because the piths (the white part of the peel) are naturally bitter, this recipe calls for three rounds of submerging the peels in boiling water for 30 seconds. While blanching certainly adds more time to the process, it is a necessary step to minimize the bitterness.
  • Simmer in syrup until translucent and glossy. The peels should be simmered in simple syrup until peels are lightly translucent and syrup is glossy. The syrup is not exactly a 1:1 ratio, but close: 2 cups water to 1 1/2 cups sugar. This was the least amount of sugar I was able to use that still resulted in a shiny syrup finish on the peels. This shiny finish is what sticks the outer sugar coating on the peels. 
  • Dry for 6 hours. When the peels are done simmering in syrup, lay them on a rack to dry for 6 hours. This drying time dehydrates the peels and completes the candying process. After 6 hours, roll peels in granulated sugar and you’ve got yourself homemade candied orange peels! 

How to Store Candied Orange Peels

Candied orange peels can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. Larger batches can also be frozen in a zip-top bag for up to 3 months. Store with silica packets if you have any or homemade desiccants like dry rice to help absorb moisture.

Candied Orange Peel Recipe

In the event find yourself with far too many oranges this winter, the leftover peels can be boiled in syrup and rolled in sugar to make this delicious sweet.

Prep time 18 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 cups

    water, divided

  • 3

    large navel oranges, preferably organic

  • 2 1/2 cups

    granulated sugar, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Place a colander in the sink. Bring 2 cups of the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.

  2. Meanwhile, trim the top and bottom ends of 3 large oranges. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to peel 1-inch wide strips of zest from the oranges, going from top to bottom and making sure the strips have a thin layer of white pith (this will prevent the strips from curling too much later). Use a knife to cut the zest strips lengthwise into into thinner 1/4-inch strips. Add the strips to the saucepan (it’s okay if the water isn't not boiling yet).

  3. Once the water is boiling, boil the orange peels for 30 seconds. Drain in the colander. Return the peels to the saucepan and add 2 cups of the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 30 seconds and drain again. Repeat one more time for a total of 3 blanches.

  4. Return the peels to the saucepan. Add the remaining 2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups of the granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the peels are translucent and the syrup is thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top.

  5. Turn off the heat. Let the peels rest in the syrup for 5 minutes. Use tongs or chopsticks to transfer the peels onto the rack in a single layer, making sure they do not touch. Let dry on the rack for at least 6 hours to dehydrate and complete the candying process.

  6. Place the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Working with a few at a time, toss the candied orange peels in the sugar until evenly coated all over.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store with silica packets if you have any or homemade desiccants like uncooked rice to help absorb moisture.