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Candied Orange Peels & Syrup


I know, no one has time to make any recipe that takes at least 4 days. Full disclosure, I'm self-employed and have no kids. I get it. When I did have an office job, all I could manage to pull off for dinner was a cocktail. But I found a lot of pleasure in dreaming of making stuff like this. If it helps, I would argue that this is 3 recipes in one: candied peels, citrus syrup and citrus-scented sugar to which you add some cinnamon for cinnamon toast. Double the recipe and you only have to make it once a year. Further support for this endeavor is the fact that you will have an ingredient that will transform any cake, scone or cocktail you make into something transcendent. Or dip these little buggers in some melted dark chocolate and freak yourself out. Think about those possibilities for moment or two. I will post such recipes in the coming months.

4 oranges
1 1/2 cups water
1 3/4 cups organic sugar + more for rolling & storing

Wash/scrub the oranges with hot water, wipe to dry. Remove the peel in quarters, then slice into 1/4-inch strips.

Put water and 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Add peels, don’t stir. Shake pan and gently press peels into the liquid with a spoon. When it returns to a boil, remove from heat and cover. 

Let it sit overnight. The next day, add 1/2 cup sugar, shake pan to settle, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit overnight. On the third day, add 1/4 cup sugar, shake and bring to a boil once more. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside for 2-6 days.

Dry Peels
Strain peels, saving the syrup. Let drip for at least 15 minutes. Roll peels in sugar, place in a single layer on a rack or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let sit uncovered in an oven with a pilot light or another warm place, overnight or up to a day, until they’re dry. Store in airtight containers between layers of sugar.

Process Syrup
Strain syrup through a damp jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth. Place in a pot and bring to a boil. Ladle hot syrup into prepared canning jars, leaving a half-inch of headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Download a PDF of this recipe here.



This recipe works with any citrus.

Yield: roughly 5-4 half-pint jars of peels and about 2 cups of syrup.

If you don’t have all the usual equipment for canning, you can still process the syrup. Just boil the jars and lids for 10 minutes to prepare them, and use tongs. Fill jars to 1/2 inch from the top.

The peels will keep for months. The unopened syrup for a year.