Here's two things I'm not a fan of: orange zest and candied fruit. Alas, I love this candied orange peel! Basically, it retains the flavor of orange and loses a lot of bitterness. I'm only slightly more bitter by the process since I managed to slice my finger into a bloody mess. I probs should have taken it to the ER, but it was very "well approximated" (looks like nursing school may have its place in the kitchen, after all) so a super tight bandaid kept it closed. Aside from almost chopping my finger off I managed to buy oranges with crazy thick piths. So, after I gave them their first boil I stood over the cutting board for half an hour and chopped off piths.
Actually, candying orange or other citrus peel is a very simple process. It involves boiling the peel for a while to leach out any bitterness followed by a long simmer in simple syrup. The peel should be dried out in the open air for a day or two before it's ready to be used. I've got a really great recipe that I'm super excited to share next week that uses this candied orange peel as a garnish. Aside from garnishes, this orange peel can be eaten as a snack or packaged up in little bags as a cute gift.
P.S. My candied orange peel is currently drying out, but Christmas is still lingering for the rest of the week. Almost time to say goodbye.
Candied Orange Peel
2 oranges, 1/4" of the top and bottom sliced off
4 cups sugar, divided
3 cups water
Cut peel on each orange into 4 vertical segments. Remove each segment (including white pith) and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Cook in large pot of boiling water 15 minutes. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
Bring 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add peel. Return to boil and reduce heat to a simmer until the peel is very soft, about 45 minutes. Drain.