One year my friend sent me a gift basket full of delicious and decadent treats: chocolate-dipped shortbread, chocolate-dipped caramel apples, a fabulous assortment of gourmet nuts, chocolate-covered cherries, chocolate truffles in half a dozen flavors, and chocolate-dipped candied orange peel. That was my favorite.
The combination of sweet, fragrant, and chewy was almost too much to resist. Truth be told, I didn’t really want to share the orange peel. It was so good!
Well I decided I wasn’t going to wait for another gift basket before I could enjoy candied orange peel again. And while it looks super fancy, it’s really pretty easy to make. You only need orange peel, sugar, and water. And patience. You do need to have patience so you don’t burn the sugar.
The time you put into preparing candied orange peels is so worth the effort. The peels store well in an airtight container so you can serve them with ice cream, as part of a dessert plate, or just as a sweet treat.
I don’t always dip my candied orange peels in chocolate, but it’s an easy way to dress up an already fancy-feeling treat. Most of the time when I make them, I leave them out to dry just long enough so that they retain that great chewiness. My cousin skips the sugar coating part and chops her peels into bite-size pieces to go in her homemade trail mix.
There are so many ways you can use candied orange peel. Try making a batch and see how you like it. Let us know your favorite way to use it.Print
Candied Orange Peel
Make full use of your fresh oranges—peel and all! Candied orange peel makes a great dessert garnish, or can be a sweet treat all on their own! Use the leftover syrup to spice up a drink or use it in another recipe.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- For Drying: 2 days
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 2 days 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: Approximately 20 servings 1x
- Category: Desserts
- 4 large navel oranges
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- Optional: fine granulated sugar to coat peels
- Thoroughly wash the oranges.
- Slice off the top and bottom ends of each orange.
- Cut the orange into 4 to 6 sections, and peel each section from the fruit. Note: You do not have to remove all the pith; it helps make the peels chewy.
- Set peeled fruit aside for juicing, snacking, or cooking.
- Boil the orange peels in a pot of water for about 15 minutes.
- Drain the peels, rinse, and drain again. If you want to further reduce the bitterness of the pith, repeat the boil and drain process again. Discard water when done.
- Put 1 cup fresh water into the pot, add the sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add the orange peel and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the orange peels turn translucent.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the peels. If you want to sugar-coat them, toss the peels into a bowl of fine granulated sugar, toss to coat, and lay out on a wire rack to dry.
- Leave peels on the rack for 1 to 2 days so they dry completely.
- Candied peels stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place will stay fresh for about a month. Store in the fridge or freezer for longer shelf time.
- Use as a garnish for baked goods or citrus drinks, as a topping for ice cream, or dipped in chocolate for a fancy treat.
Have you made candied orange peel? Do you sprinkle it with sugar, or keep it plain? Please tell us how you use it.
My mother made these at Christmas time saving citrus peels in the refrigerator through out the fall.
I make them to include in Christmas baskets using a slightly different recipe. I use the peels saved when I make orange jam. My version uses the peel cut into approximately 1/4 inch slices. I roll them in sugar, drained but still warm. Drain and dry them on a rack in a quarter sheet pan lined with parchment paper.