Candied Orange Peels (*A Guest Post From Lottie)

This wonderful treat is a reminder of my childhood and hopefully it will bring memories to many others.  I remember that we made it around the holidays, but why not make it anytime?  It is so very easy to make and it tastes delicious.  Makes a nice gift as well!  So next time you peel an orange, save the scored peel in a plastic bag or container, refrigerate, and when you accumulate enough, you are ready to make this treat.

Candied Orange Peels

5-10 navel oranges
3 & 1/2 cups sugar
1 & 1/2 cups water

      1.   Score peel of the navel oranges about 1/4 inch wide, pull peel from the orange.    

      2.   In a pot,  combine the peel and enough water to cover, heat to boiling over high heat, boil approximately 5 minutes, drain.  Repeat this step approximately 2 more times.  This allows you to remove the bitterness from the peel of the orange and to soften the peel.

      3.   Drain the cooked orange peel and set aside.

      4.   In a skillet, combine 2 & 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 & 1/2 cups water.  Cook over high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils.  Continue boiling and stirring, approximately 15 minutes or so.   The mixture will start to become syrupy.

      5.  Add your drained orange peel to the syrup in the skillet and stir to ensure even coating.  Reduce heat and simmer partially covered approximately 1 hour or until the orange peel has absorbed the majority of the syrup, continue stirring occasionally.  Remove the cover and continue to simmer and stir gently until all or most of the syrup has been absorbed.

      6.  On a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper, place the remaining 1 cup of sugar.  With tongs or an available utensil, lightly roll each peel in the sugar to coat.  Place each piece on a wire rack or on a plate to allow it to dry.  The outcome should be that the outside is dry but the inside remains moist.  The mixture is VERY hot so be careful not to touch with hand - always use a utensil for handling it and keep out of reach of children until ready to eat.

NOTE:  You may use the peel of a grapefruit as well, however, from my experience, it is more difficult to remove the bitterness from a grapefruit than from an orange.  I have also tried the peel of a lemon but the skin of a lemon is too thin, in my opinion, and I would not recommend it.   I have also experimented by adding a little zest to the orange peel by incorporating a shot of cognac or brandy, thus making the citrus peel even a bit more flavorful.  The alcohol is removed while cooking but the citrus peel definitely has that added cognac/brandy flavor.  

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