Awhile back, I made candied orange peel for the first time, with the intention of putting it in Stollen. Happily, there was enough for the Stollen as well as some Orangettes. I’m not bit on chocolate and fruit (chocolate-covered strawberries being the exception) and orange + chocolate has never sounded appetizing to me, so I didn’t know if I would like these. Which was fine, because they’re a gift for my mom and I thought it would be the sort of little confection she’d appreciate.
But after tasting one, I was converted. At least when it comes to homemade chocolate-dipped candied orange peel.
To make them, I melted 1/3 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, stirred in about 1/2 tsp vegetable oil, and then dipped the end of each peel. I set them on waxed paper in the refrigerator to harden.
While perusing Christmas baking recipes, I earmarked one that called for candied fruit, including candied orange peel. I’ve never bought candied fruit or peel, and after some poking around online to figure out what exactly candied orange peel is, saw some tutorials for making it instead. And as luck would have it, I had some oranges on hand (for a cold-buster boost to my morning green smoothies).
Jacques Pépin: How to Make Candied Orange Peels and DIY Candied Orange Peel
Peel off thin shavings of peel off of 4 oranges using a vegetable peeler. Leave behind the white pith. Slice into long strips.
Place peel in saucepan with cold water to come about an inch above the peel, and heat to boiling. Boil for about 10 seconds, then drain the peel and repeat.
Empty out the saucepan and mix 3/4 cup sugar and 3/8 cup water in it. Simmer for 8 minutes. Add orange peel and stir around to push all of the peel into the liquid. Simmer for about 20 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. (Note: instead of using the full amount of water and sugar called for in the DIY Candied Orange Peel recipe, I had reduced it by half since I was only using the thinnest pieces of peel. This wasn’t enough liquid, and it boiled off too quickly, leaving crusty sugary peel. I added a tablespoon of water to loosen it up before tossing in sugar and cooling.)
Remove peel from saucepan and toss in sugar on a baking sheet. Place peel on cooling rack for 5 hours, then store in airtight container in the cupboard.
Yield: 2 cups
I’m a candied orange peel newbie, so not sure exactly how it ought to taste. My peels pack a punch! They’re strongly flavored, rather bitter but sweet as well. I wish I had used more water with the sugar in the saucepan, but overall I think they worked fine. Can’t wait to see how they taste in the final recipe that I made them for.
While these were drying on the rack, I was at the supermarket and checked for candied orange peel. Lots of high fructose corn syrup and preservatives in the ingredients list, so I’m really glad I went the DIY route.