CANDIED ORANGE PEEL (makes about 4-5 cups)
4 navel oranges, washed
2 cups + 1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup water (approximately)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
2 tsp shortening (optional)
USE a paring knife to score 2” sections of the orange (cut lines down the orange the from stem side to navel without cutting into the fruit)
REMOVE the 2” sections of peel with your fingers to separate (just like when you’re peeling an orange) and save the orange fruit for eating later. The white pithy part will still be attached to the peel. Don’t worry about it right now.
PLACE the peel in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
BRING to a boil and boil uncovered for about 15 minutes.
DRAIN and rinse. Repeat the same procedure 2 more times and drain.
USING your paring knife, scrape as much pith off (the white part on the underside of the peel) as possible.
CUT peels into strips, about 1/8”-1/4” wide. Place strips back into saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the last boil. Turn down heat and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Your strips should no longer have a raw appearance.
DRAIN (without rinsing) and place strips in a bowl.
MEANWHILE, while you are blanching your peels, in another saucepan, combine 2 cups of cold water with 2 cups of sugar.
PREHEAT oven to 250°F (this is only for drying purposes later)
BRING to a boil, turn down heat and continue to simmer (without stirring) for 30-45 minutes or until you have a thin, syrupy mixture.
COVER the strips with the hot, syrupy mixture. Set aside for about 45 minutes for the peels to candy.
AFTER strips have candied, place the remaining 1-cup of sugar in another bowl. Add peel and toss to coat well.
SHAKE to remove excess sugar and place strips on a cooling rack over a baking sheet to catch drippings.
PLACE baking sheet and rack in the warm oven for about 15 minutes to dry.
REMOVE from oven and leave strips at room temperature to finish drying.
CANDIED peel will become chewier over a few days. When your desired texture is reached, store in an airtight container.
Note: You can also make candied lemon and grapefruit peel the same way.