I love orange peels more than I enjoy eating oranges. I use dried orange peels in my tea blends. I even clean with vinegar I’ve infused with orange peels.
Candied orange peels are like a dream come true for me, because I can literally snack on my favorite part of the orange. They replace an after dinner mint as a good digestif, too.
Making this confection doesn’t take as long as you might think.
To begin with you will need to have some sort of simple syrup made up ahead of time to candy orange peels the way I do. Yesterday I made pine syrup because of Kiva’s post the other day. In the past, I have used chocolate syrup and vanilla. Chocolate is probably my favorite, but I have a sentimental attachment to chocolate oranges.
Now you will need some organic oranges. I started with four today. Peel the oranges with a vegetable peeler to get strips that are fairly free of the white pith.
Try to use just the decent size strips. Some will break and peel but don’t worry this pile of pith and bits of peel goes into a chocolate-orange bitters recipe. I tend to run cold, constitutionally, so orange peels are one of my favorite bitters due to their warming qualities.
Once you have your strips of orange peel you are going to want to blanch them. To do this put them in a saucepan of cold water and bring the water to a boil. Strain this water off and blanch them again. This will mitigate some of the bitterness, although honestly I like bitter so I only blanch mine once.
You can use the water you strain off for decocting a beverage. I have a pan with some pine, rosemary and astragalus, simmering on the stove.
Once you have your blanched orange peels you are going to want to put them in a saute pan, cover them with simple syrup and cook them until they become a little more translucent.
This takes some experimentation. If you cook them too long, they start to curl up and are very brittle. You want them to be a little chewy. The rule of thumb is about three minutes, but it really depends on the size of your strips. After they have simmered in the syrup, remove them and roll them in sugar, making sure both sides are coated. Leave them on the rack to dry for a bit, then store in a covered container.