Holiday Treat: Candied Orange Peels

Candied orange peels are an easy-to-make goody traditionally seen around Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you've never eaten them before, expect a treat! They are sweet, and not at all sour or bitter. Make a large batch and give some away as gifts. (Over at Martha Stewart, there are instructions and free clip art for packaging candied citrus peel for gifts.) What You'll Need Peeler (optional) Saucepan Wire cooling rack 8 oranges (or 6 grapefruits or 10 lemons or limes) 6 cups of sugar, plus more for rolling

How to Make Candied Orange Peel (the Easy Way) Using a peeler, carefully peel strips of orange rind away from whole oranges. Try to make the strips about two to four inches long. (Keep the oranges in a Ziplock bag and consume them separately within a few days.) * Place 6 cups of sugar in a saucepan and add 3 cups of water. Stir and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture boils. Add the orange peel strips and reduce the heat to low. Use a pastry brush dipped in cool water to wash down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan. Simmer until the peels are translucent, about 40 minutes. Cool the peels in the sugar-water syrup for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Remove the peels with a slotted spoon and wipe off excess syrup with your fingers. Roll the peels in sugar and dry on wire racks. Or the Old Fashioned Way Cut the ends off the orange, then cut the fruit in half lengthwise. Insert the tip of a knife between the fruit and pith, about 1/2 inch deep. Repeat on the other end, following the shape of the fruit and keeping the peel in one piece. Gently pull the fruit away from the peel with your fingers. Place the peel in a pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes (40 minutes, if you're using grapefruit peel). Drain peel and soak in cold water until cool enough to handle. Using a melon baller, scrape the soft white pith from the orange peel without tearing the orange part of the peel. Cut the peel into 3/4 inch wide strips. Proceed as above, beginning at the asterisk (*). Bookmark and Share

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