Start your own holiday tradition with Candied Orange Peel. It makes a charming and unique gift and is delightful as a punchy-little palate cleanser. Move over, tic-tac’s, we’ve got something way better!
Have you had the pleasure of biting into one of these before? They’re an Italian delicacy, often served on the side of espresso in fancy-schmancy cafes. I remember these from my early childhood when my Argentine grandmother would order these as a special treat over the holidays. They were dear, and we were allowed exactly one each. But, oh, the sheer delight of biting into a candied orange peel! Crunchy and sweet, but then ending with a punch that fills your mouth with a bitter orange flavor. It’s a breath-freshener and pick-me-up all in one.
I love to make these over the holidays and give as gifts, or I scatter them amongst a plate of holiday cookies. It’s a labor of love to candy orange peel, but oh-so-worth-it. And a small amount goes a long way, especially when you’re allowed only one!
The labor involved when making candied orange peel is to clean the oranges. Those waste-not, want-not types will be delighted: when you supreme an orange for a wintery citrus salad, you’ve got a great use for all those peels! Remove the excess pith, and cut into strips.
The next step is to boil the strips of orange peel in simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water.)
Again, the waste-not, want-not types will be patting themselves on the back: drain into a colander placed inside a bowl, to catch the wonderful orange-flavored poaching liquid. Now you have the poached oranges for the candied orange peel recipe and a by-product of orange simple syrup. Margarita Time!
Cover the still-warm oranges in a but of sugar
Mix, and then dehydrate in the oven (or dehydrator) at the lowest setting possible. When they’re dry and crunchy, they’re done!I made a few little matchsticks dipped in dark chocolate. Because chocolate and orange. Yes. If you’re feeling lazy, you can submerge the slices in chocolate, and then place over a strainer.
Happy DIYing, Hipcooks!
Are you familiar, or do you have a memory of Candied Orange peel like I do? Please share below, I just love feedback!
The peel of at least 6 oranges (to make the work worthwhile)
2 cups of sugar
Dark chocolate, if desired
Remove the peel from at least 6 oranges, ideally when you are making supremed oranges for a salad, or red wine-soaked oranges from our fabulous Paella Class. Using a thin knife, remove the excess pith from the orange peel segments. You don't have to be perfect here, a little pith adds a nice flavor.
Cut the de-pithed orange peel segments into strips and place them in a wide pot. Add enough water to cover the orange peel, and then about a cup/cup and a half of sugar. Boil for about 10 minutes, until the peel is nice and soft.
Strain the peels in a colander over a bowl (to catch the lovely simple syrup). Cool, cover, and reserve the syrup for another use (add to tea or coffee, or in cocktails.) You can also continue to boil this syrup down until it reduces to thick and syrupy, and pour over vanilla ice cream, but that's just crazy talk, right?
Sprinkle the drained peels with the remaining sugar and mix. Spread out onto a baking sheet or a dehydrating tray, and heat these cuties on the lowest setting possible until they are dry and crunchy.
Stored in an airtight container, they'll keep, like, forever.
You can give these an optional dip in dark chocolate: melt about 4 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from the heat, and cool until you can place a dab on your lip, and it feels just warm (not hot). Stir in another 2 ounces of chopped chocolate and allow to melt in the warm chocolate (do not re-heat.) Congratulations, you've just tempered chocolate using the seeding method (for you culinary aficionados). Lovingly dip each orange strip into chocolate, place on parchment or an Exopat to cool.
Looking for more unique holiday gifts? Give the Gift of Cooking at Hipcooks:
I’m definitely going to dust off my dehydrator and try making these this weekend! Thank you so much for sharing this treasure!