Do you have an abundance of citrus and regularly squeeze up a pitcher of orange juice? Your counter tops are likely filled with a pile of squeezed out orange skins. They do compost well, but you might consider another route.
Candied orange peel is a nice finisher for a garlic-laden meal. It cuts the garlic and ends things on a sweet note.
Chop the candied slices into small bits to add to baked goods like breads, cookies, and cakes. Add them to savory dishes like pilaf, roasted vegetables, or slow-cooked chicken dishes. Sprinkle the candied orange peel on a green salad along with toasted pine nuts. Delicious!
You could go a step further and dip half of each slice into a fine melted chocolate. Cool the slices and you have gourmet candy to indulge yourself or give as gifts.
You will find a number of processes online for making candied orange peel. I’ve tried a few and have settled on this as the one that best fits our use of oranges on a daily basis. The process is simple enough, it just takes a bit of time.
Use organic oranges to avoid the plethora of chemicals that get sprayed on mass-produced orange crops. Better yet, grow your own. That takes a while, so as you wait for your own precious oranges, look for a friend who is growing enough organic oranges to share with you.
As for sugar, I have tried using an unrefined sugar instead of the typical white sugar. Unfortunately, the unrefined sugar makes a dark and much more tough peel. It is great to use as an ingredient in cooking but it is too tough for projects such as chocolate-covered orange peel. It is too brown for any project where you want to see the bright orange color. Use the sugar of your choice.
Store your candied peels in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. They should be fine for about six weeks. If you plan to keep the peels longer than that, consider freezing them to maintain the bright flavor.
Save the syrup. It is a treat unto itself. Use the syrup to sweeten herb teas, to pour on pancakes, as sweetener in salad dressings. You will have no shortage of ways to dispose of your orange syrup!
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