Candied orange peels
4.75 from 16 votes

Candied orange peels

Course Preserves
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients

  • 500  (1 1/8 lb) of organic orange peels
  • 1250  (6 1/4 cups) of sugar
  • 1250  (5 1/4 cups) of water
  • 300  (10 1/2 oz) of glucose , or acacia honey

Instructions

Collecting the orange peels

  • Cut the ends of the oranges, carve the peel into large segments, then gently remove with your hands the whole peel, pith included. It will take you a few days to make 500 grams of orange peel. Collect the peels gradually in a plastic container and cover with cold water. Keep at room temperature. Change the water twice a day, this will also take away the bitterness of the peel. When you have the amount you need, start the candying process.

Preparing the orange peels

  • Fill a pot with water and add the peels. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, drain the peels and cool them down in a bowl of cold water. Repeat this process for blanching the peels two more times. The last time, instead of removing the peels as soon as the water starts to boil, simmer them for at least 30 minutes, or until the white part has become translucent. At this point, gently drain the peels and cool them again.
  • Once cold, drain the peels and let them drain well on a wire rack.

Candying the orange peels

  • Prepare the water and sugar syrup. Some people say to double the weight of the peels to find the amount of water and sugar needed, others suggest to multiply by three, to make sure you have enough syrup for the storage. After trying both ways, I decided that the right amount for me is two and a half times. So, for 500 grams of peels you will need 1.250 grams of water and 1.250 grams of sugar. This will help you do the maths if you have a smaller of bigger amount of peels.
  • Pour the water and the sugar into a large pot and stir well, then heat over medium-low fire until the sugar has completely dissolved and the syrup will almost begin to boil.
  • Turn off immediately and bathe the orange peel into the hot syrup. They must be completely covered by the syrup. Leave them in the syrup until the following day. Do not cover the pot otherwise the steam condensation would drip into the pot.
  • The next day, heat the syrup again with the orange peesl still inside. As soon as it starts to boil, turn it off. I took a shortcut: some remove the peels every time before bringing the syrup back to a boil, to prevent them from breaking. For a small home production, though, there is no need to complicate your life. Wait again until the following day.
  • The candying process will take from 7 to 10 days. How to know when the peels are ready? The syrup will thicken day by day, becoming stickier. Eventually it will create a film on the surface, and it will be almost as thick as honey. For the geeks out there, use a refractometer, the tool which measures the concentration of sugar: the peels will be candied to perfection when the syrup will reach 72° Brix.
  • When you are at the last boiling, add the glucose, or the acacia honey, to prevent the peel from crystallizing or becoming too hard, stir carefully until dissolved and bring to the boil. 

Preserving the candied orange peels

  • Up until the last year I would drain completely the peels and store them in a Tupperware in the refrigerator, but the peels tended to crystallize and become hard. Now I collect them in a sterilized jam jar, covering them with their syrup, then I seal the lid.
  • If you have some leftover syrup, keep it in the fridge in a jar: you can use it to brush cakes or to make sorbets and refreshing drinks in summer.
  • To seal the jars, arrange them in a pan and place them in the oven at 100°C. Dry cook the jars for 40 minutes for 250 grams jars. If the jar keeps 500 grams of liquid, the cooking time will be 80 minutes. Again, easy maths. Remove the jars from the oven and let them cool down, then store them in a cool and dry place in your pantry for a year or more.
  • When you open the jar, use the candied orange peels you need and keep it in the fridge until you have finished all the peel.
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