Saturday, February 27, 2010

Old Fashioned Candied Orange Peels

Candied Orange Peels

This post is photo heavy.

There was a time ( and it's true some times even now sadly) when IF you were lucky enough to be able to afford Fresh fruit , you could only get them when they were in season. Fall apples from the north , winter citrus from the south , and so on. These were treasured and every bit and bi- product you could use was made and used. There are 3 bi-products that are created from the process of making candied orange peels. 1st is a orange water, 2nd is a flavored sugar and the third is a soft ball stage grainy mixture. I plan to post about thier uses in up coming posts -- aka: as I work with them over the next few s days.

Candied Orange Peel can be used is oh so many ways. You can snack on them as is, dip them in chocolate or a fudge mixture that complements the power punch of bitter/sweet orange flavor. They are beautiful to decorate spring cakes or cup cakes with or chop them and add to herbal teas , coffees, or use them to stir a warmed cup of coke-a-cola. They preform well baked in breads, cakes , muffins, cookies, oatmeal ..... yea the possibilities or so endless. They make interesting tasties to include in goody bags too.

When I want to make a new batch of Candied Orange Peels any one and every one who walks into the house is "offered" and orange , but I get to peel it...I can't eat more than 1/2 one now and then, so either I freeze the juice in cubes or I pawn the fruit - minus the flesh - off on all who come to visit. I immediately prep the peel and slice, then toss them into a self sealing freezer bag. till the bag is full. ( They stay frozen only about 5 days ,maybe 7, but I have never pushed them further than that, and I always taste a couple small once randomly to be sure that they haven't soured or suffered frost bite. )

Preparation isn't that hard. Basically you wash the orange under cold water with a clean terry cloth to be sure you get into the oranges skin grooves. Then you remove the fruit from the peel in nice slices.
Remove the pith( that white layer between the fruit and the orange skin) ... kids can achieve this with a heavy handled table spoon. Then slice them into strips approximately 1/4 inch or less in width.

See those little bubbles that's where all the flavor is ( the a lot of the oils) . Try not to pop them if you can.

This slice could still use a little more pith removed but it was a good shot of the "flavor bubbles" .

The recipe below is for 4 large unblemished Oranges . I tend to make about 3 to 4 time that amount , but I only double it and usually have enough liquid and sugar .

4 skin/peel of large unblemished Oranges pith removed and sliced 1/8th to 1/4 inch thick
4 cups of cold water ( more or less)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup (fine) granulated sugar

Add your peels to a heavy 4 t0 6 quart sauce pan .
and cover them with 4 cups of cold water , or just enough allow them to "float" a bit. ( If using them from the freezer, don't defrost them.)

Bring them just to a boil then reduce heat to med-low and simmer them till they are tender
(15 to 35 min , keep an eye on them !!)

while the peels are cooking
sift together into a large container the 1 cup powdered sugar and the 1 cup (fine) granulated sugar and line your counter with waxed paper .

When the peels are tender, strain them reserving 1 cup of the liquid.

now there are recipes out there that tell you to strain- rinse- cook -repeat up to several times supposedly in an attempt to take out the bitterness....... Why would I want to wash all the nutrients and flavor away like that????

any way

In the sauce pot over medium heat add 2 cups of sugar and let it warm for 2 minutes then stir in the 1 cup of reserved orange liquid give this a good stir .. then add in the orange peels .

Give them a good tossing about in the syrup and keep them moving about till the sugar is dissolved.

simmer this stirring only 1 time at 225 degreas F.

keep simmering till it reaches 238 degrease F ( soft ball stage. ( keep an eye on it, but this can take a while to reach the temp needed)

turn off the heat but leave the pot on the hot burner to buy you some time.

remove the orange peels from the syrup one or 2 at a time and lay them in the powdered sugar-sugar mixture and toss to coat well .

then lay them out on waxed paper in a single layer to dry

cover them with a clean white, light weight towel an let them dry for 24 hours .

The sugar you tossed them in is awesome in a cup of Earl Gray tea... but more about that later

when the orange peels have dried for at least 24 hours place them in a container that can be sealed air tight.

OR .... Dip them in chocolate ( oh and roll them in finely chopped hazel or walnuts...mmmm-yummm!) .
Lay them on waxed paper to harden and enjoy... save some to share!

Store dipped peels in single layer between pieces of waxed or parchment paper in a container that seals air tight

Tasty Blessings !
Ma Fey


  1. I think I might try this some time soon! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Greetings Liz!
    They are addictively yummy. I hope you try them.

    Erin Dear! How are ya! Let me know if you do try them !

    Blessings to both of you
    Ma Fey

  3. Wow, thank you for this great recipe and step by step explanation. I also love the music. I think this will be Christmas presents for our family this year. My 3 year old loves the kitchen. Fabulous. That "orange sugar" looks great too.