Investigating the how and why of good cooking.


Candied Orange Peel Recipe, A Traditional Southern Favorite

By Diane Watkins

Candied Orange Peel is a traditional Southern favorite.  Generations of cooks have created many recipes to use all of the available food- including the peelings.  Luckily for us, as the peel is one of the most flavorful parts of the orange.

Boiling the peel three times removes the bitter flavor from the peel.  If you have scraped ALL of the white away in step 1, you can skip the repeated boilings, as the bitterness comes from the white pith.  I choose to boil the peels once, then scrape the pith away with a spoon and boil again.  The boiling softens the pith and makes it easy to remove, but the peel is more fragile at this stage, so be careful not to tear it.

Candied orange peel, shot in Syracuse, Sicily....
Candied orange peel, shot in Syracuse, Sicily. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, October 17, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This candy is delicious served alone.  But try it used as a garnish on chocolate puddings or mousse, or chopped fine and used as a flavoring accent.  I like to add a little chopped orange peel to my tea ball before brewing for a nice orange flavored tea.

This recipe can be used with other citrus peel as well.  Consider using grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, lime, tangelos, or any mixture of these.

Candied Orange Peel

Peel of 5 oranges
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
3 cups sugar
1  cup water

  1. Quarter and peel the oranges.  Scrape all of the white pith from the peel and discard.  Cut the remaining peel into thin strips.
  2. Place the orange peel into a saucepan and cover well with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain and repeat two more times.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, bring 2 ½ cups sugar, corn syrup and 1 cup water to a boil over low heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved, then cook for 20 minutes.  Periodically wash down any sugar crystals that may form on the side of the saucepan with a wet brush or a fork covered with a wet towel.
  4. Add peel to syrup and simmer for 15 minutes more.  Stir to prevent sticking.  Syrup should be mostly absorbed by the peel.  Be careful to avoid burning.
  5. Line a large tray or cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.
  6. Remove peel from syrup and drain, roll in remaining sugar and place onto lined cookie sheet.  Leave peel to dry overnight, then store in an airtight container.
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