- Peels of three oranges
- 2.5 cups of sugar, divided
1. Start by peeling some delicious oranges. Lightly slice the peel into quarters (without cutting into the flesh) and peel it off. Then cut each peel quarter in half. Once you have your peels, use a sharp knife to cut off as much of the bitter pith as possible. Ideally, you want to be able to see the pores of the orange on the other side.
2. Gently place the orange peels in a medium saucepan. Cover them with water and bring to a boil. Let the water boil for five minutes, then drain the peels. Cover them with brand new cold water and repeat twice, so that in the end they've been boiled and drained 3 times. This is especially important for the peels of sour citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit) because it removes any sourness or bitterness. They should be almost translucent at this stage.
3. Now bring 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of sugar to a boil. Bring it up to about 230 degrees (using a candy thermometer) then add the orange peels back in. Let them boil for about five minutes. Don't stir them, just swirl the pan a bit to keep them from sticking together. Stirring invites the possibility of crystallizing the sugar. Drain, reserving the orange syrup to use for sweetening teas, etc. Use a cooling rack with paper towels underneath it.
4. Let them drip dry for about 30 minutes. Put a cup of sugar in a plastic container or bag, and add the peels to it. Gently toss so that each peel gets coated. Spread them out on a sheet of wax paper and let them dry out for a few hours. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.