Candied Orange Peels are one of my favourite sweet snacks to make because, well, I love them and they are so versatile. They are great on their own, dipped in dark chocolate, as an add-on to a dessert and as a garnish for an Old Fashioned (orange and bourbon are delicious together).
Choosing Oranges: Candied orange peels are best made with oranges with a thick skin (meaning lots of pith). This pith is what gets saturated with sugar and becomes candied while it cooks. I like big navels, and when they are in season, go for Minneolas. They are a hybrid of tangerines and grapefruit and have a deep, orange colour and a great flavour.
1 – 1 1/2 cups of sugar (plus more for dusting)
1 – 1 1/2 cups of water
Step 1: Cut the bottom and top ends off the oranges and quarter. Using your paring knife, cut the orange meat away from the skin. Don’t cut off the pith though. Fill a frying pan with water, toss the orange peels in and simmer for a few minutes. Eat the fruit or save it for a salad or juice it. Remove with tongs and place on a cutting board and cool until you can handle. Toss the water left in the pan.
Step 2: Using your paring knife, remove and extra little pieces of orange or membrane off the peel. Cut your oranges into strips. They can be narrow or wide (it’s completely up to your preference). I generally cut them between 1/4″ – 1/2 ” wide.
Step 3: Candy your orange peels! Add between 1 and 1/2 cups of water in your frying pan. Put in the same amount of sugar. Set your heat between low and medium and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Add your orange peels to the sugar syrup. Simmer slowly between 20 and 40 minutes. If the sugar starts to smoke or the peels are cooking to quickly, reduce the heat. Move the peels around regularly so they don’t stick together and also so they don’t sit on the bottom of the pan. They could burn. After the 20 minute mark, remove a peel and cut a small piece off and check for flavour and texture.
Step 4: When the oranges are the texture and flavour you want, remove from the pan with tongs and place on a drying rack. When they are cool enough to handle toss in white sugar.
The leftover sugar and water syrup can be thinned out and used a flavourful simple syrup for coffee or for the cocktail of your choice.
Cold Brew Coffee with Cointreau and Candied Orange Peel
2 -3 ounces of cold brew coffee
1 ounce Cointreau
candied orange peel (garnish)
half and half cream (optional)
Put everything into a glass, stir it and then drink it.