I love oranges. Navel, blood, tangerines, mandarines, tangelos–love them all. We even used an orange motif (both the fruit and the color) to tie our wedding together.
Table number: My mom; Photo Credit: Betwixt Studio
So, when a recipe I was making called for candied citrus peel, I jumped at the chance to make my own. I researched several recipes and finally chose the one below from the Food Network kitchens.
This recipe would work with any thick-skinned citrus fruit. I used some giant–and very juicy navels for this recipe.
The peeling part is easy. Lop of the top and bottom of the orange. Then, score the peel into quarters and peel (and if you are me, have flashbacks of that one year I played soccer as a child). I saved the juice from the fruit for another recipe.
Then the peels get cut into strips and blanched three times–Julius Caeser style. The blanching softens up the pith.
Once the peels are blanched, a simple heavy syrup gets made. And yes, a candy thermometer is used.
When the syrup reaches the correct temp, in go the peels.
Where they simmer for about an hour–or until the peels become transparent.
Then out of the syrup and into the sugar.
Once sufficiently dusted with the sweet stuff, the peels are dried over night on cooling racks. The final product is sweet and zesty with just a bit of bite.
I will definitely be making these for the holidays next year, dipped in chocolate and wrapped in clear cellophane. Italy dusted in sugar!
Food Network Kitchens
- 6 thick-skinned oranges
- 4.5 C sugar for extra for rolling
- 1.5 C water
Cut tops and bottoms off of the orange and score the orange into quarters, cutting down only into the peel and not into the fruit. Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces, use the orange for another recipe. Cut the peel into strips about .25-inch wide. Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to aboil over high heat. Then pour off the water. Repeat 1 or 2 more times depending up how assertive you want the orange peels to be. (Test kitchen liked the texture of a 3 time blanch best, it also mellowed the bitterness. But it is a matter of preference.) Remove the orange peels from the pan.
Whisk the sugar with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 minutes (If you took the sugar’s temperature with a candythermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 230 to 234 degrees F.) Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a simmer. Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 minutes. Resist the urge to stir the peels or you may introduce sugar crystals into the syrup. If necessary, swirl the pan to move the peels around. Drain the peels, (save the syrup for ice tea.) Roll the peels in sugar and dry on a rack, for 4 to 5 hours. Return to the sugar to store.