Oranges and citrus fruits are on sale this time of year. It’s a good thing too. In the dead of winter our bodies need all the Vitamin C they can get. But don’t throw those peelings away! Try making this wonderful treat with these peels: Candied Orange (or Lemon) Peels.
Don’t say “yuck” yet. You know who you are–my good friends who mistrust all my new and novel recipes. Tell me–have I ever led you astray? So try this.
It won’t cost you much to make it and you just might be surprised how yummy these are. They taste just like the orange candy wedges you buy in the store, but these have a fraction of the sugar AND they have Vitamin C. Try making this treat while the oranges and lemons are on sale. Tell me how well you (and your kids) like it.
It is a bit time consuming, but the steps are pretty easy to follow.
Orange rinds from 5-6 large oranges (try to keep the pieces as big as possible)
2-3 C sugar
¾ C water
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
Step One: Cover orange rinds with water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain. Cover in cold water and simmer again until tender.
Step Two: Slice peels into strips, about 1/4” wide, 1 ½-2” long.
Step Three: Make a syrup of ¾ C water, 1 C sugar and corn syrup. Boil for 2 minutes and add orange strips. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let peels sit in covered pan overnight (8-12 hours.) The next morning, bring to boil, simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Drain and cool.
Step Four: Cover a cookie sheet with 2-3 layers of paper towels. Sprinkle ½ – ¾ C of sugar evenly on paper towels. Lay the orange strips on top of the sugar, sprinkle remaining sugar on top of strips so that all the strips are well covered with sugar. Pat sugar into the strips to make sure they are well-coated.
Step Five: Allow the rinds to dry for 3-5 days. When strips are leathery dry, they are ready to store and eat. They will store in an airtight container for several months.
- I found that if you peel the oranges with one of those handy-dandy orange peelers (so that the sections have nice straight sides) there is less waste when you go to cut them into slices.
- You can speed up the process by drying the rinds in your dehydrator for 4-8 hours. You want the rinds to soak up as much sugar as possible and you want the sugar coating to stick to them, so I would first let them dry overnight, then finish off the drying in the dehydrator.
- I reuse any sugar that is not absorbed by the oranges. I sift it to remove any hard lumps or small pieces of orange.
- For a wonderfully delicious treat, dip candied peels in melted chocolate.
My recipe books says you can also do candied grapefruit peels. I’m guessing you could do lemons as well. I’ve never tried any other citrus fruits, but if you do, will you tell me how it tastes?