You will never want to make this recipe unless it has some sentimental meaning for you. It is very labor intensive for a small amount of product. I remember my mom making this. I never watched her make it completely. Well, maybe at the very end when they get rolled in sugar, but not the process or the preparation. Well, also the part of removing the pith from our saved orange peels. I do not know which recipe she used. There are two or three possibilities in the notebooks of self-typed recipes and clippings from magazines and newspapers. I made these once before in my adult life but I don’t even remember which recipe I used. For some reason it occurred to make some this year so I set out to save orange peels. I looked up recipes and not many of them scrape the pith from the peel. That is the part I remember the most. I’m confused. But I carry on…
Jaques Pepin! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWr4kDoYNsQ
He knows to only use the orange skin and remove the pith. But he does it with a vegetable peeler. I never thought of that! This is an excellent thing to remember. I may be able to make candied orange peel every Christmas season. Yay!
Shall we proceed?
Several oranges were consumed over the course of a few weeks. I dutifully scraped the white pith from the peels. I find a spoon is the best tool as a paring knife will cut through the peel instead of just scraping and of course it will also cut the finger tips if not careful.
I admit that I froze the peels after scraping the pith. That way they would not go moldy in the fridge waiting for me to get around to using them! This may be why the final product is not bright orange in color.
I slice these peels up, put them in a pot, and cover them with cold water. Once this comes to a boil, I will drain the pot, put in fresh cold water, bring to boil, and repeat this process so that there are three times the peels are boiled in fresh water. This process is to take the bitterness out of the peel but retain the essential oil.
After the third time drain the peels and put aside. Now we make a simple syrup with sugar and water. Use two parts water to one part sugar. I will use 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water. Bring this to a boil and simmer for 8-9 minutes. It won’t look syrupy but should have a constant boil. Then put in your orange peels. Swirl the pan so that all the peels are covered. Cook these for 45 minutes. I probably did not do this exactly right as mine don’t look syrupy here at the end of 45 minutes .
Drain your candied peels on waxed paper (I use parchment paper). Sprinkle with sugar while still sticky. Let dry.
I am not happy with the result.
They do not stiffen up like I remember. How to fix? I am thinking of cooking them in a syrup a little longer.
This looks much better.
I continue to sprinkle with sugar until they look right. When very wet they absorb the sugar.
This is a sweet-tart confection. You can do a variety of things with it but we just ate it like candy. Just a taste of childhood for the Christmas season.