This is our recipe for candied orange peels. It is based on the traditional process developed in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France, famous for their candied fruits. It is the same process we use for our candied lemon peel. Skip to the recipe.
The chemical process involves replacing the water contained in the fruit with sugar. And this is better done over an extended period of time. You can rush it but the results will definitely not be the same.
Step 1 Wash the oranges. Go for organic ones if you can afford them. They usually taste better and are free of chemicals and the artificial colorants used in commercial oranges to make the look better. Cut them in quarters and peel each quarter letting the peel preserve the white part, that you usually avoid when using orange peel for a recipe due to its sour taste.
Step 2 To remove the sour taste from the white part of the peel we blanch it. To do this, in a sauce pan, bring 4 cups1 liter4 cups of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt.
Step 3 Cut the peel in 3/8 inch1 cm3/8 inch stripes.
Step 4 Once the salted water is boiling add the orange peel stripes. The water would stop boiling. If you wait a few moments the water would start boiling again. Let the orange peel boil for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and strain.
Step 5 Wash the peels with cold water for about 1 minute to remove the salt.
Step 6 In a sauce pan, bring 4 cups1 liter4 cups of water to boil (this time without salt). Once boiling add the orange peels. The water would stop boiling. If you wait a few moments the water would start boiling again. Let the orange peel boil for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and strain.
Step 7 Wash the peels with cold water for about 1 minute to cool them. Repeat steps 6 and 7 five more times.
Step 8 In a sauce pan, combine 4 cups1 liter4 cups of water with the sugar and bring to boil.
Step 9 Once boiling, add the orange peels and let them boil for about a minute.
Step 10 Remove from heat and let cool for at least 3 hours. Once cold bring to boil again stirring so the sugar won’t caramelize and burn. Do this 12 to 15 times. The entire process might last between 3 to 5 days depending on how many times you boil them in a day (depends on your schedule).
Step 11 The final time you boil them don’t let them cool, remove them while still hot, leaving as little syrup as possible, and place them on a baking tray to air dry. After two days turn them around. I usually place them on another pan because the original is full of syrup. If you are in a rush and cannot wait for the orange peels to dry out, put some sugar on a tray and toss the peels. Coat them with sugar and put on a clean tray to dry. This will speed up the process but the result will not be as good.
Step 12 You can store in a glass jar the remaining syrup which will taste like orange and use it for future recipes.