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Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on Punk Domestics

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    Candied Orange Peels: sweet slices of sparkly sugared citrus.


    I feel bad.

    I meant to get this post out before Christmas. I know some people wanted the recipe last week. But there was last minute shopping to do and the kids started flying into town and before I knew it, I was knee-deep in cookie dough and gift wrapping supplies and I just ran out of time. Oh, we got married last night too, at our annual Day-After-Christmas Party. So you see, I've been kinda' busy.


    Luckily, Candied Orange Peels are something you can make any time of the year, and they taste just as festive in June as they do in January. I like to use Cara Cara* oranges for this recipe, but you can easily use other types of oranges as well as grapefruits, lemons & limes. Organic is always the best way to go, but no matter what type of citrus you decide to use, be sure to give them a good scrubbing, to rid the rind of the bad stuff, like dirt and wax, and oh...don't forget to take those sticky labels off.

    Yes, you are going to boil the peels, so of course the dirt will be washed off, but you will want to save the flesh of the citrus to eat later, and you don't want any cross-contamination, do you? Take the time to scrub them well.

     Helpful hint: I wear protective gloves when making this recipe. I find that the process of peeling the oranges can be tough on my fingertips. Something about the citric acid and/or the oils in the zest is very abrasive. Maybe it's just me -- and maybe it's because I sometimes do a dozen oranges at a time -- but it's better to be safe than sorry. Wearing snug-fitting gloves makes handling the knife easier too, not loose ones like I'm wearing in these photos! Geez.


    After washing, score the fruit, from end to end, dividing the fruit into quarters.

    Some people cut both ends of the orange off first, but I usually don't do it that way. It results in squared-off edges in the final product, which looks very nice, but I hate to waste even a tiny bit of fruit.

    Slice quartered sections into strips....

    ...then run a sharp paring knife the length of the peel, being careful to just cut away the layer of white pith.

    This white pith can be bitter, or it might become unappealing mushy when the peels are cooked.

     Set fruit aside for another use.

    Seven pounds' worth of peels

    Put prepared peels into a large pot, add enough cold water to cover, and bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat the cold water / boil / drain process two more times.

    Boil > drain > boil > drain > boil > drain.

    Make a syrup -- by heating to a boil --1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of water for every 2 oranges that you use. Stir syrup until sugar dissolves, then add the peels and boil lightly for 30-45 minutes, or until orange peels are translucent.

    Remove from heat and drain, using a colander OVER A BOWL (so that you can  save the syrup for other uses, like sweetening tea or mixing with club soda & ice to make a slightly citrus-y sweet bubbly beverage.)

    Place wire racks over wax paper (so that you can save any sugar that falls off of the peels during the next process., and save it for other uses.)

    Dredge peels in sugar, then transfer to the racks to dry.

    Some people like to dip their peels a second time, after the peels have absorbed some of the sugar.

    Peels might take up to 24 hours to dry.

    They can be left "plain" or dipped in melted chocolate. For dipping, use white, dark, bittersweet, semisweet or milk chocolate..whatever you all tastes good!

    Stored in an airtight container, they will keep for several weeks.

    You can also put a few in a small cellophane bag...

    ...add a fun wired ribbon and an inexpensive return address-style label... 

    ...and they make a pretty cute little hostess gift!


    *Cara Cara Oranges are a special cultivar of a navel orange which are distinguished by their rosy flesh. Depending on the orange, the color may range from a pinkish to a deep red, much like that of the grapefruit. Unlike grapefruits, however, Cara Cara Oranges are very low in acid, with a naturally sweet flavor. Some people feel that they are superior to other navel orange varieties in flavor, and they are often in high demand in produce markets when they are in season, which is December and January in the Northern Hemisphere.
    Please click here to return to my original blog, which is full of other tasty ideas>>>
    (2009 Orangettes)

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    Reader Comments (5)

    You probably can tell, Brook, by my email address that I'm a big fan of stems, skins and stalks and I love what you've done here with the dipping of orange peels. I have a couple of questions- the silliest being where did you get those cute address labels? And secondly, would you consider reprinting a text only version of your Chocolate Orange Peels on our site for the benefit of our fans? I'd need an abbreviated byline on yourself and a link back to your Learn To Preserve blog. Get back to me when you can, N

    December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Gershman

    Yes, I would love to do that for your website; I just looked at it and it's super cool. I am all about not letting anything go to waste. For instance, I have blogged about making fruit-infused vodka out of an abundance of fruit languishing in my refrigerator's crisper drawer, and outlined the making of Pickled Watermelon Rinds...something most people toss in the compost, or, horror of horrors...into the garbage can!
    The return address labels are from Zazzle. First, search for a Zazzle promo code on the internet. You might find one for free shipping. Then, on Zazzle's website, search for "Orange" in the "Labels" section. That's how I found the orange-bordered labels. You customize them with your own text. They are cheap and oh-so-easy to do!
    I will create a text version of the Chocolate-dipped Orange Peel recipe and get it to soon.
    Thanks for your interest.
    I love your website. I am going to add it to my "LINKS I love" Section.

    December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrook - Learn To Preserve

    I've been wanting to make chocolate covered peels for a while now, even more so these last few weeks as they're all over the place in France, but I wasn't sure how to go about the initial candying bit. Now I know. Thanks Brook! Oh, and congrats on your marriage, what a lovely time of year to tie the knot. Sonnda x

    January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSonnda

    I am glad you waited for the dreary days of January to post this. It is so gorgeous and inspires me to do another batch just to bask in the smells of citrus in the middle of winter.

    January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

    Lynn, I meant to send everyone home with a bag, as they left our party, but I forgot. Something about getting married that night caused me to forget a few things...sigh...

    My Meyer Lemons are turning yellow. Did you see my tree when you were here? On the antique stereo cabinet by the window?
    I think I might make Candied Meyer Lemon Peels from those!

    January 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens
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