It’s orange season! In our family we all love oranges; they are not just good for you, they are sweet and sour, juicy and delicious! But what about the orange peel? Throw it in the garbage? Not in our house. Orange peel can be a base for a delicious orange preserve or candied orange peel that you can nibble on or put in cookies, cakes, even as decoration in a tea cup or cocktail glass. Or you can give them away as a gift of appreciation to someone dear to you, a neighbor, or a teacher.
The possibilities are endless!
8 naval oranges
water, for parboiling
3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
5 cardamom pods
1 tbsp orange blossom water
½ cup granulated sugar, for coating
¼ cup red crystal sugar, for coating
simple ganache, for coating
Wash the oranges well and dry them off with towel paper. Peel the oranges and cut the peel into 5 mm wide strips. Don’t discard the orange meat, you can eat them or preserve them for some other recipe. We just ate them, they were delicious!
Into a big enough pot, put the orange peel and as much water as needed to cover the orange peel. Bring to a boil over high heat, let boil for about 2-3 minutes, drain, and set aside.
TIP: We all like that slight bitter aftertaste of orange peel. But if you don’t, just repeat the parboiling process one or maybe two more times, to remove the bitterness.
In another pot, put 3 cups of sugar, 2 cups of water, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil over medium heat and let the simple syrup boil for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, first add 1 tbsp of orange blossom water, gently stir, then add the drained orange peel. Let the orange peel cook in simple sugar syrup for 40 minutes or until it becomes translucent. Remove from heat, drain, and transfer the orange peel onto a towel paper to dry and slightly cool of, for about 5 minutes.
TIP: Preserve the orange/spice/orange blossom water infused simple syrup to use in a sweet tea or as a base for cocktail or maybe a cordial.
After 5 minutes, start coating the orange peel in sugar. More colorful more merry! I used granulated sugar and red sugar. Work with small batches of orange peel, because small quantities are easier to control. Arrange the coated orange peel on towel paper and let them dry for 4-5 hours; I left mine over night.
I covered some in chocolate the next day.
If you store your candied orange peel in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator they will last for a long time.