For some reason, I felt more wasteful than usual throwing away my orange peels lately, so I decided to try candying them. I’m so glad I did! I was snacking on them before they were even done! : )
*First off, you don’t have to eat 3 oranges at once to get enough peel for this recipe. 🙂 I stuffed my peels in a little ziplock each time I ate an orange until I came up with enough.*
Cut off the top and bottom of the peel (where the stem connects), then slice the peels in about 1/4 inch strips, as long or short as you want them. I cut my wedges of peel in half and then sliced them, so mine turned out to be about 2 inches long. (Make sure you don’t scrape off the fluffy white pithy stuff.)
Dump the strips in a medium-sized pot and cover them with cold water. Bring it to a boil and drain off water. Repeat twice. This blanching helps remove the bitterness.
After the last draining, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup of water in the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until the syrup reaches about 225 on a candy thermometer, stirring constantly. Add the peels and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer peels for about an hour, or until they are translucent. Stir every now and again to make sure the peels are being evenly coated and aren’t burning on the bottom of the pot.
When peels are translucent, remove pot from heat and spread out over parchment paper, making sure they aren’t clumped together. As soon as the pot is removed from the heat he peels will start to stick to the bottom, so work quickly! Dry peels for 2 hours or more, then spread one side with melted chocolate, if desired. Store in covered container.