Candied peel seems to be one of those things that you either love or hate.
I’m in the former camp, along with my partner, my mum and a number of our friends, so I don’t need much encouragement to make a fair quantity of it at this time of year.
As a result I’ve tried a wide range of recipes and methods over the years and have arrived at a method that seems to work every time, even from year to year when I think I’ll have forgotten that little thing that makes all the difference and have to re-learn it.
Moreover, it’s the kind of thing that you can do whilst doing other things as it doesn’t need to be watched over constantly. I tend to make a batch each evening with that morning’s orange peels. I’d hoped to get this posted before we came away, but that didn’t happen. But, there’s still time to make this if you too love candied peel, if you don’t love it, then please don’t add anything else to your to-do list!
Candied Orange Peel
Peel of 3 – 4 oranges
8oz / 200g sugar (for syrup)
6oz / 150g sugar (for coating)
4 tablespoons of water
1. After juicing the oranges (freshly squeezed juice is the perfect source of Vitamin C to ward away winter colds), pull out the pith – just the bits that make up the orange segments, leave the white pith next to skin.
2. Slice your orange peel into sticks.
3. Put the peel in boiling water, wait for the water to boil and allow it to boil for approx 1 minute. Repeat this step 5 times.
Boiling the peel removes the bitterness, hence needing to keep changing the water. You don’t have to be exact with the 1 minute, I’ve been distracted and left it longer than a minute between water changes before. You want the peel to cook, but not go mushy
4. When you’re on your last boil, put put the syrup sugar in another pan with the 4 tablespoons of water. Turn on the heat to dissolve the sugar in water.
This may not seem like a lot of water but don’t add more, otherwise you may end up overcooking the peel in the next step and it will get tough.
5. Add the peel to the syrup and boil until the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.
6. Lay some baking parchment on a baking tray and sprinkle half the coating sugar over it. Spread the peel out on the sugar (taking care because it will be hot) and sprinkle the second half of the sugar over the peel. Mix it all together with your hands. Then roll each piece of peel in the loose sugar so it is coated and not sticky.
7. Leave your peel out in a dry place (not a steamy kitchen) for about 24 hours to make sure it’s nicely dried before you put it into an airtight container.