Festive Food Fair: Candied Orange Peels

Ingredients

  • 12 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 cups sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • Water

Directions

Using a vegetable peeler, remove orange peels.  I think they're nicer if you cut them into semi-uniform rectangles, but if you just want to leave them natural looking that's fine too.  (Put the remaining oranges in the fridge and eat within a few days.)  In a large bowl combine salt and 8 cups of cold water, stirring until salt dissolves.  Soak oranges in salt water overnight.

In the morning, drain saltwater and rinse orange rinds well.  Place rinds in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover them and heat to a boil.  Let water boil for a few minutes, then drain and rinse the peels.  Repeat this process at least 3 times, until you can bite into a peel without tasting strong bitterness.  (I ended up having to do these 4 times.)

Drain the peels for the last time and return to saucepan.  Add 4 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water, and return to the heat.  Stir the mixture constantly until the sugar dissolves, then stir intermittently until the peels become translucent.  Remove pan from heat and drain off any remaining liquid.

While the peels are still damp, roll them in sugar.  (You can do this in whatever way you think best; I put the sugar and peels in a Tupperware in small batches and shook to coat.)  Lay the peels out on a piece of wax paper until they're dry--a few hours--then refrigerate in an airtight container. 

I'm not sure how long they'll keep for, but I've had them after a month in the refrigerator and they were still great.  Also, if you have one of those orange and chocolate loving people in your family, you can dip these in chocolate too!