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Happy National Candied Orange Peel Day! Candied orange peels are a delicious treat that are fantastic on their own as well as covered or dipped in chocolate. To help you celebrate today, here’s a fantastic recipe for candied orange peels you can make at home.
The process of candying citrus peels is relatively simple, but it requires a bit of time and patience. The recipe for candied citrus peel calls for Valencia or Navel oranges and lemons, but you can also use grapefruits, Meyer lemons, limes, or any other citrus fruit of your choice.
It’s important to use organic citrus fruits, as non-organic fruits are often highly sprayed with pesticides and chemicals and the peels can be unsafe to eat. Once you’ve acquired your choice of citrus, slice both ends off of each fruit and quarter each peel into four long vertical segments. Peel off each segment, removing some of the white pith if you’d like. Slice each segment into strips ¼ inch wide.
Boil all your orange peels in a pot of water for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse the peels in a colander, then repeat this process one or two more times with new, clean water to reduce the bitter flavor.
Add a cup of fresh water and 2 cups of sugar to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil this for a couple of minutes until the sugar is dissolved, then add your citrus peels. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every once in a while, until the peels become clear and the syrup becomes light. Save this syrup, as it can be a perfect mixer to add sweet citrus flavor to your drinks.
Use metal tongs and a slotted spoon to remove a few of the orange or citrus peels at a time and let the extra syrup drip off for a few seconds. Place the wet peels in a bowl or resealable bag filled with sugar and shake the bag to coat. Spread the candied citrus peels out on a wire rack to cool and let them dry completely, which can take 1-2 days. This process can also be sped up by using a food dehydrator.
If stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, the candied citrus peel will keep for at least a month. They can keep even longer in the fridge and for a few months when frozen.
If the candied citrus peel becomes hard after a while, don’t worry – they will become soft again when warmed up. To keep the candied peels even softer, don’t coat them in sugar, don’t fully dry them, and store them in a resealable bag in the refrigerator or freezer.
It’s National Orange Juice Day too!
Today is a great day to celebrate with all kinds of orange treats, as it’s also National Orange Juice Day! Drink orange juice together with your candied orange peels for an explosive orange snack, or even use your candied orange peels as a topping for an orange juice cake.