This beautiful 3-ingredient old fashioned Candied Orange Peel is a joy to eat and a versatile addition to many desserts. We’ve perfected the recipe and we’re revealing all of the key steps to achieving a candied peel that is sweet and chewy, rather than bitter. Keep reading to discover the secret to perfect Candied Peel!
There’s an art to making deliciously sweet candied orange peel. It’s not complicated, but take a wrong step and you can end up with bitter peel rather than the classic sweet, chewy and citrussy candied peel that is such a joy to eat.
We’ve researched, tried and tested many methods to perfect our delicious Homemade Candied Orange Peel. The result is a candied peel that you’ll want to make again and again; to garnish cocktails, adorn cupcakes, bake into puddings, stir into chocolate fudge or just enjoy as it is!
On our journey of testing we’ve discovered several key steps to ensuring that the candied peel is sweet rather than bitter. Read on to discover all of our tips and tricks to achieving the perfect old fashioned Candied Orange Peel.
- The written recipe
- How to use Candied Orange Peels
- Success tips
- Step by step instructions with photos
- Other incredible recipes like this one
How to use Candied Orange Peels
Candied orange peel is a beautiful fresh and sweet candy to enjoy by itself but it also has so many other uses!
Try this wonderful treat it in any of the following:
- To garnish fudge, cupcakes and cocktails
- Stirred it into Christmas florentines or chocolate bark
- Baked into fruit cake, stollen and Christmas pudding
- To add a citrus element to ice cream or chocolate pudding
- Package into little jars tied with ribbon and give as gifts at Christmas time
The orange syrup that the peel is simmered is a joy in itself – try this simple syrup drizzled over pancakes or in a classic festive cocktail such as the Old Fashioned cocktail. It’s also delicious in hot chocolate, which is what I am drinking as I write this!
Please share your great ideas with us, we’d love to hear how you use your candied peels and orange sugar syrup.
- Peel the orange from top to bottom. Peel the oranges from top to bottom in straight strips, rather than around the orange in a circular fashion.
- Remove any excess white pith. We use a peeler rather than a knife to reduce the amount of pith attached to the orange peel strips, since the pith has a bitter taste to it. If you get excess pith on any of your pieces of peel, trim it off with a knife.
- Always boil the peel twice. In this recipe you boil the peel twice – the first time you boil the peel in water, drain and then rinse it to remove any excess bitterness. The second time you boil the peel in sugar and water to give it sweetness. It’s important not to skip the first boil – this is an important step to remove bitterness.
- Use a flat, rimmed tray or dish to toss the peel in sugar. Don’t be tempted to add the peel and sugar to a lidded tub and shake it to coat, this can cause the sugar to clump. Instead spread the peel out on a tray with a rim (or a large baking dish), sprinkle over the sugar and toss lightly to coat.
- Leave the peel to dry. It’s important to let the peel dry for 24-48 hours before adding it to an airtight container and storing it (you can enjoy the peel before that time, you don’t have to refrain from eating it!).
How to make this Old Fashioned Candied Orange Peel
Large oranges. Try to find organic, unwaxed oranges for the best results. Navel oranges tend to work well.
White sugar. Granulated or caster sugar will work for this recipe. Use caster sugar if you’d like a finer sugar coating.
Dark Chocolate (optional). If you’d like to make chocolate candied orange peel, opt for a vegan 70% dark chocolate.
A saucepan, cooling rack and a rimmed tray (or large baking dish) are needed for this recipe.
Make sure to head to the recipe card below for the full candied orange peel recipe and instructions!
Gather together your ingredients and wash the oranges.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the oranges from top to bottom in straight wide strips. Use a sharp knife to cut the peel into thin strips that are around 1/2cm thick (1/4”).
Add the peel to a medium saucepan with 200ml cold water (0.8 cups water). Bring the water to the boil and simmer the peel for 15 minutes. Drain the peel and rinse it in fresh water.
Add the peel back to the saucepan with a further 200ml fresh water (0.8 cup water) and 200g sugar (1 cup sugar). Bring the mixture to the boil over a medium heat and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until the peel no longer tastes bitter.
Remove the peel from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and spread it out on a cooling rack in a single layer for 10 minutes to let it air dry and cool to room temperature. Bottle the excess syrup to use on pancakes and in hot chocolate (it’s delicious!).
Spread the peel out on rimmed baking sheet or large dish, sprinkle it in the remaining 75g of sugar and toss to coat.
To fully dry the peel, spread it back out on the cooling rack and set it aside in a cool, dry place for at least 24 hours.
To make chocolate candied orange peel once the peel has dried:
Melt 50g dark chocolate, either in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, or in the microwave in 15 second increments until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Dip the candied peel in the melted chocolate and then place it on a tray lined with parchment paper (or a wire rack) until the chocolate has fully set. You can place it in the fridge to speed up this process if you like.
What is candied orange made of?
Our homemade candied orange peel (old fashioned) is made of orange peel simmered in sugar and water. It is then tossed in white sugar and, if we’re feeling fancy, dipped in dark chocolate. What a delicious treat!
Why is my candied orange peel bitter?
Bitter candied orange peel can be a result of two things – not cutting off the bitter white pith and/or not boiling it for long enough. It’s important to boil the peel in two stages – the first time in water to remove the bitterness, and the second time in sugar syrup to sweeten the peel.
What is candied orange peel supposed to taste like?
Candied orange peel, when made correctly, is sweet and citrussy with a hint of freshness. You should not taste any bitterness. The texture is chewy like pick ‘n’ mix candy!
How long does candied orange peel last?
Store your candied orange peel in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Make sure it is has been left to dry in a cool, dry place for 24-48 hours before adding it to an airtight container.
Loved this Old Fashioned Candied Orange Peel? Here are some more delicious vegan sweet treats to try
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The Written Recipe:
Homemade Candied Orange Peel (Old Fashioned Recipe)
- 2 large oranges (preferably organic and unwaxed)
- 275 g white sugar (separated into 200g + 75g)
- 400 ml water (separated into 200ml + 200ml)
- 50 g dark vegan chocolate
- Wash the oranges.2 large oranges
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the oranges and then slice the peel into strips that are around 1/2cm thick (1/4”). Press the peeler into the orange firmly to get a nice even layer.Note: Peel the oranges from top to bottom in straight strips, rather than around the orange in a circular fashion. We use a peeler rather than a knife to reduce the amount of pith attached since the pith has a bitter taste to it. If you get excess pith on any of your pieces of peel, trim it off with a knife.
- Add the slices of peel to a saucepan and cover with around 200ml of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain the peel and rinse in fresh water.Note: Don’t skip this step of boiling the peels in water and then rinsing them, this reduces the bitterness.400 ml water
- Add the peel back to the saucepan with 200ml water and 200g sugar. Bring the water to the boil and then simmer gently for 30 mins until the peel is soft.275 g white sugar
- Remove a piece of peel with a slotted spoon and, when cool enough, taste it. If the peel is still bitter, keep boiling for another 5-10 minutes before tasting again.
- Once there is no bitterness remaining in the peel, remove the peel from the saucepan using a slotted spoon and spread it out on a cooling rack for 10 minutes to let the peel air dry a little.Note: Keep the orange sugar syrup, it’s delicious in cocktails and drizzled on pancakes!
- Spread the peel out on a rimmed baking tray. Sprinkle over the remaining 75g of sugar and toss to coat.
- To fully dry the peel, spread it back out on the cooling rack and set it aside in a cool, dry place for at least 24 hours. You can enjoy it sooner than that, but don't put it into a jar or container before it is properly dry.
- Store the candied orange peel in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To coat the peel in chocolate:
- If you’d like to coat the peel in chocolate, start by melting 50g dark chocolate. To do this, break the chocolate into pieces and put it in a bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate is melted and smooth.Note: Try not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the simmering water in the saucepan.50 g dark vegan chocolate
- Alternatively, add the chocolate to a microwave-safe dish and microwave the chocolate in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment until the chocolate is melted.
- Dip the candied peel in the melted chocolate and then place it on a tray lined with parchment paper (or a wire rack) until the chocolate has fully set. You can pop it in the fridge to speed up the process if you like.