Hi friends! My busiest semester of grad school is DONE! Let the holidays begin,
and let them begin with candied orange peels! These were the product of an afternoon spent avoiding studying. Now that every assignment has been completed and every test has been taken, I can say making these was a wise and tasty choice.
I had a bag of organic oranges that were disappointingly less than delicious, which led me to the idea of making something with the peel.
So, I Googled “things to do with orange peel at Christmas” and crossed my fingers… Candied orange peels was one of the first things to pop up! I felt good that my oranges were organic (no pesticides lingering in the peel) so I decided to give it a shot. I did a little more searching and found a highly rated recipe from the Food Network. Brilliant. There were only 3 ingredients required: sugar, water and orange peel. It was meant to be. I had about 5 pounds of sugar in the pantry and final exam time is a great time to have candy around the house to keep my brain fed.
I pulled out the sugar and immediately started peeling, per the recipe instructions,
until I had quite a large pile.
I then cut the peels again, this time into 1/4 inch slices and filled a large pot with sugar. Pouring 4 1/2 cups of sugar into a pot just feels wrong but trust me, it is so right.
I added the water and stirred the pot for about 10-12 minutes on high heat, until it reached the soft thread stage. That’s when all the orange peels went in.
I guess I got lazy because some slices were a little larger than 1/4 inch. I’d go back and cut them if I could do it again because the thin slices taste more like candy.
I reduced the heat and let them simmer for 45-50 minutes. The recipe advises not to stir the peels which was really hard for me to resist doing.
I drained the peels, pouring the orange syrup into another pot. It smells incredible and is delicious in a hot cup of tea.
The peels then took a sugar bath and were laid out to dry in the sun.
These came out much better than my first attempt at making candy in Food Science class, when I ended up with a pot of hard, burnt sticky sugar and not one piece of candy. The girls sampled them during our night of Christmas shenanigans on Saturday. I guess they were a hit since we ate half of the tin!
On top of their awesomeness alone, I found 2 tasty things to do with the remainder of the peels, which I’ll share later this week. Both are great holiday gift ideas! For now, get the peels going because it’ll take you an entire afternoon.
Well gang, it’s time to say adios! I’m not wasting a minute getting my winter break started… I’m already on my way to Spain to spend Christmas with the boyfriend. I’m looking forward to a glorious 3 weeks of eating, sleeping, novel reading, working out and celebrating the holidays.
I’ll check in tomorrow when I arrive! Have a great night.