These zesty, sugared strips of orange have been a favourite household treat in lots of homes for generations. They make a particularly great festive sweet as the citrus aroma of orange is nicely Christmassy, and they’re also a lovely homemade gift idea that’s really easy to make but thoughtful, too. Though most candied orange peel recipes (including ours) suggest making strips of candied peel, you can also use diameter slices of orange – just be sure to let the syrup reduce more if you do this as the moisture in the flesh of the orange needs to be cooked off, or you’ll end up with soggy peel.
We’ve used oranges in this recipe, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other citrus fruit: lemons, limes or even grapefruit all work well with the same recipe, and it’s a great way to make use of any leftover peel you have! If you’re using whole oranges, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t save the flesh and the syrup to use in other recipes – both have many of different applications, so get creative!
- 2 large oranges, or 3 clementines
- 3 cups caster sugar
- 3 cups water
1. Slice each orange vertically into 2 halves then gently prise the peel from the flesh of each half, taking care not to tear it
Tip: Don’t throw the flesh away! Use it to make a fresh orange juice, orange cake or a fragrant orange sauce
2. Cut each half of peel into thin strips, about 1/4″ wide (or whatever size you prefer your candied peel)
3. Add the peel to a pot with a matching lid, cover them with cold water and bring to the boil with the lid on. Once boiling, let these simmer for 15-20 minutes on a medium heat
4. Drain and rinse the peel then leave it to one side. Return the pot to a low heat 3 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes or until the sugar granules have fully dissolved
5. Add the boiled peel to the simmering sugar syrup and leave without stirring for 45 minutes to an hour
Tip: The longer you leave the peel, the more the syrup will reduce and the harder the finished candied peel will end up.
6. Drain the syrup from the peel
Tip: Save the syrup for a cake glaze, or to sweeten tea!
7. Pour some sugar onto a sheet of baking paper and roll the strips of peel in this, a few at a time, placing them on a wire rack with baking paper below once coated. Leave them overnight to dry, then store in the fridge in a sealed container and eat within two weeks
Have a go at this recipe and let us know how you get on in the comments!
Candied citrus peel aren’t the only homemade sweets with a festive feel – take a look at our Hot Chocolate On A Stick and our How To Make Homemade Chocolate Truffles recipes for some more gift / DIY treat ideas!