So it was way back in December, the 31st to be exact, that I saw candied orange peels dipped in dark chocolate at a mall in Florida. I wanted them so badly, and I almost bought them too, but I decided against it -I think my my brain must have been completely fried from being some of my best friends’ wedding the night before, because I cannot think of any sane reason why I would pass up CHOCOLATE covered candied ORANGE peels. To her credit, my friend who was with me did try to convince me to buy them, but my exhausted self wouldn’t listen to her voice of reason.
Because of that foolish sin of mission (so I like to exaggerate…), I have been thinking about those little beauties for over a month now, just wishing I had devoured them back in December. To my dismay, I have not been able to find them anywhere up here, so I resolved to make them myself.
These are so yummy and really not that much work. The cutting and the boiling just takes time, but none of it is hard to do. These are great to share with your friends (or eat all by yourself), especially since citrus will be in season for a few more weeks.
|First, wash and slice your oranges. I saved the orange segments to eat later.You can see how I cut the ends off and quartered my oranges on the left,
and how I peeled and sliced my peels on the right, leaving the pith fairly intact.
Cover the oranges with cold water in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, and drain the water off.
Repeat twice more.
|Beautiful orange peels, drained for the third and last time, with most of their bitterness now boiled away.|
|Preparing the sugar and water mixture (230F is what you want, it will be at a boil and look bubbly/foamy).|
In they go!
Soooooo much crazy-hot sugar.
Be sure to use a fork or tongs to get these out of the sugar mix.
And be careful not to burn your fingers like me. Oops.
Now that the orange peels are dry (patience is a must), chop your dark chocolate.
After tempering, dip the candied orange peels.
You can just dip a portion of the orange peel, or cover the entire peel with chocolate.
I did a little of both and now they are ready to be shipped to far-away friends.
Candied Orange (Citrus) Peel
Adapted from Use Real Butter
4 oranges, peel of (or any thick skinned orange)
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
6 oz high quality dark chocolate, chopped (for dipping)
Wash the oranges, since you will literally be eating their peel.
Cut off the top and bottom of each orange (think of removing the polar caps where the stem and opposite end are) just so the tips of the fruit segments are showing. Place one of the flat sides down on the cutting board and slice into quarter. Take those quarters and peel away the rind from the fruit segments. Cut the quarters of the peel into 1/4 inch slices, lengthwise (so they are long and thin).
Place peels in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat on high until water comes to a boil. Pour off the water. Repeat twice more.
Combine sugar and water in the saucepan and bring to boil over high heat until temperature reaches 230F (candy thermometers are really nice to have about now). Add peel and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until peels are translucent (about 40-60 minutes, but could be shorter or longer, depending on where you live). Remove peels from syrup* and set on rack to dry for 24-48 hours (humid regions will require more time).
Once the peel is dry, melt your dark chocolate and orange peels in (I highly recommend tempering the chocolate) – shake off excess and place on wax paper to dry.
*If you do not want to dip your peels in chocolate (which I cannot understand why anyone would voluntarily forgo chocolate, but whatever, it’s your life), you can roll these babies in granulated sugar as soon as they come out of the sugar syrup and let dry that way.