Candied orange peel is easy to make at home and the homemade version is bitter-free, with a soft, chewy texture that’s perfect on its own or as an ingredient in holiday baking.
- 4 thicker skinned oranges, like valencia, navel, cara cara, or blood oranges
- 5 quarts of water, divided
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean (optional)
- Wash oranges to remove any wax or pesticide residue
- Score each orange in four places and remove the peel. Set the orange fruit aside for another use.
- Cut the peel into 1/4 inch strips.
- Fill a 2 quart sauce pan 1/2 full of water. Place peels into sauce pan and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Strain the peels and pour off the water. Repeat 2 more times.
- In a clean 2 quart saucepan, add 2 cups of water and sugar. Split a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and vanilla paste. Add it to the simple syrup. Chop the vanilla bean into 1/4 inch pieces and add to sauce pan. Add the orange peel slices.
- Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes until the orange peel is translucent.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the orange peel from syrup. Dry on cooling rack. Reserve the orange flavored syrup for another use.
- Allow the orange peel slices to dry for several hours. Turn the candied orange peel several time during the drying process. This can be sped up using a dehydrator, but watch it carefully so that you don’t caramelize the peel.
- The peel is ready to store when it is dry to the touch, no longer sticky and is flexible.
- Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. The candied orange peel will be better after a day or two in the jar, where the moisture level is able to balance out.
To store the syrup, strain the syrup through a fine sieve to remove any bits of orange. On its own this will last up to month in the fridge.
Keywords: candied orange peel