I absolutely love the fragrance of fresh oranges. My room smelled of fresh oranges for hours after I sat and peeled oranges for this recipe, and my kitchen smelled divine the whole evening after I boiled the peels in syrup. This is such a superbly easy dish to make, and tastes amazingly delicious! 😀 Orange peel is an incredibly flavorful, aromatic part of the fruit which is often overlooked, except for including orange zest in baking. Try this dish for a change, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the strong and citrus-y flavor these strips of peel pack in 🙂
You can eat the peels as is, or roll them in sugar and add to dessert that calls for orange. They can also be used to bake cookies (which is my next cooking project, I’ll keep you posted!) and are great in Christmas fruitcake (also coming up soon!). The candied peels can be dipped in dark chocolate and enjoyed as a dessert. I cannot tell you just how much we adore this – in fact, it is one of DH’s favourite fruit and chocolate combinations. You also get an incredible orange infused syrup after boiling the peels, which is an added bonus. It can be used to flavor cocktails and cocktails, added to dessert and used to soak cakes. They stay fresh for upto a month, when refrigerated. Read on for the recipe!
- Peel of 4 ripe Oranges (Valencia or Australian, preferably a thick peeled variety)
- Water – 3/4 cup
- Granulated Sugar – 1.5 cups
Preparing the Peel
- Lop off the top of the orange (the stem).
- Using a knife, score the peel into quarters.
- Peel out the skin fully without breaking it.
- With your nails, or with a spoon, scrape out how much ever white pith you can, from the inside of the peel.
- Slice the peel into long and thin strips, lengthwise.
- Repeat the process until you’ve finished all the oranges. Collect the peels in a bowl.
Blanching the peel
Collect the peels in a pan, fill it with cold water until the peels are immersed, and bring this to a rolling boil.
Boil for 2 minutes, and drain using a colander. Repeat this process twice more.
Cooking the peel in sugar syrup
- Add the sugar and water to the pan.
- Bring to a simmer on medium flame, stir well to dissolve sugar.
- Add the orange peel, and make sure they are all immersed in the syrup.
- Boil for 40-45 minutes on low flame. Do not stir. Just check every 10 minutes or so, and then use a spoon to gently nudge the peels back into syrup, if they’re not immersed fully.
At the end of 40 minutes, you will see that the peels have turned translucent, and the syrup has reduced to a couple of tablespoons.
See how the peel has absorbed all the syrup and looks translucent? Time to switch off the stove.
One by one, carefully remove the peel with a spoon and transfer to a balking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Dry overnight, or for 5-6 hours at least.This is how it looks after drying completely.
Roll the dried peel in granulated sugar (optional), or store as is, in an airtight container.
These peels are great dipped in melted dark chocolate. They take just 30 mins to set in the refrigerator, and taste delicious! (forgive the condensation on the chocolate!)
Try it, and let us know your comments!! 🙂