My Kind of Valentine’s Day Candy

recipe for candying orange peel

When I was little, one of my favorite things my mom would make was candied orange peel. (I’m not sure if I had very grown up tastes in sweets or just very weird ones — I always preferred flan and pumpkin pie to birthday cake on my birthday in July, for instance.) I remember standing over the pot of simmering sugar syrup and wishing away the time til the sweet strips of candy would be ready. In my mind, the process took days to make, requiring lots of soaking and boiling and resoaking and reboiling. In reality, the whole process can be done in just a couple of hours.

Candied Orange Peel


  • 2 oranges (you’ll only need the peel, so you can use the rest of the orange for another purpose, like eating)
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar, plus more for coating


  1. Wash and dry the oranges. With a paring knife, slice off large slices of the orange peel, trying not to take off too much of the pith. Continue slicing off the peel until you’ve removed all of it.
  2. Place the sections of peel into a medium saucepan and cover with cool water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes have passed, remove from heat, drain the peel and rinse in cool water, then repeat this process of boiling/simmering/draining/rinsing 4 more times. After the final time, remove the peel to a cutting board. Slice away any excess pith on the insides of the peel, then slice each section of peel into thin strips. Set the strips aside.
  3. In your medium saucepan, bring the sugar and 1 1/4 cups of water to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Add the orange peel strips and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the orange peel strips in the liquid for about 30 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the strips and lay them flat on a cooling rack, not touching. (You’ll want to place a cutting board or wax paper underneath the cooling rack to catch dripping sugar water.)
  5. Let the strips cool completely and dry on the rack (if it’s humid where you are, you may need to let them dry overnight), then roll them in the extra granulated sugar. At this point, you can either dip them into chocolate or enjoy as is. I’m impatient, so I like to enjoy them as is.
  6. The candied orange peel will keep in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
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5 Responses to My Kind of Valentine’s Day Candy

  1. Oh these are sweet. They must have such a lovely taste.

  2. Pingback: Cooking with Kumquats | emilydubner

  3. Yvonne says:

    I found this recipe and decided to give it a try… They are still drying right now, but I sneaked a taste and the peel is still so bitter. šŸ˜¦ I hope the sugar will mask it! Or I just had poor oranges.

    • Emily Dubner says:

      Oh no! The pith (white part on the inside) is usually what causes the bitterness, so I wonder if there’s still some extra pith left on them. If some of your strips have less pith, you might find that those ones will taste the best.

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