candied orange peel – it came without packages, boxes or bags!

by Michelle

Candied Orange Peel on Blue

It’s hard to believe I posted this CANDIED ORANGE PEEL recipe eight years ago. Life is flying by at the speed of light. One thing that never changes is the joy of giving homemade treats at Christmas time. This recipe is easy, a little time consuming but while you are making it your home will smell glorious!

I’m no Grinch. I’ve loved Christmas all my life. Ralph’s called me Santa’s #1 helper for years but this year something’s happened. Maybe it was the wedding. Being away at the end of November might have thrown my “it’s time to get ready for Christmas” internal clock off. Maybe Nanny being in the hospital. It’ll be the first Christmas of my life that I won’t visit my grandparent’s home.

Beyond these two huge events in my life, our family made the decision not to buy gifts for each other, this year. Instead, we drew names and are filling one stocking each.

Also, I decided not to stuff my freezer full of treats because most guests are too full by the time we get to dessert. I’ll bake as I need it.

We’re having a reception at the farm next summer for our friends and family that weren’t able to go to Mexico for the wedding so we’ve decided not to host our annual “Christmas on Carmarthen” party

So many changes, so many traditions broken. Still, the house is decorated, our cards are in the mail, plans are made for Christmas eve with Mom and Dad, and Kaite and Sara will be home. The magic’s happening…

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” – Dr.Seuss

Zesting an Orange

I shared my orange peel recipe with you last year. This year’s version is made with regular oranges rather than navel oranges. The result is spectacular! The candy is intensely flavoured and the technique’s a little shorter. If you’ve never made candied orange peel before, have a go. Your kitchen will smell amazing and your family and friends will love you more!

Candied Orange Peel 2013
makes 2 1/2 lb

  • 12 oranges, washed
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 drops each red and yellow food color [optional]
  • a candy thermometer

Orange Peel


Using a very sharp vegetable peeler, remove peel from oranges with as little pith as possible – the white stuff under the peel
Cut peel lengthwise into 1/3 inch wide strips.

Zest in Syrup


  1. Place peel in a deep heavy pot. Cover with cold water by 1 inch and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Drain in colander.
  4. Repeat blanching 2 more times.
  5. Cover peel once more with cold water and simmer until skin is tender – 30 minutes – drain in colander.
  6. Return pot to stove and add 6 cups of water and 6 cups of sugar.
  7. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  8. Add food color and boil syrup without stirring until it reaches 220*F on the candy thermometer – about 30 minutes.
  9. Add drained peel and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes or until translucent.
  10. Remove from heat and let candied orange peel stand in syrup 24 hours, at room temperature.

Peel Drying


  1. Place large metal cooling rack on newspaper, waxed paper or parchment paper to catch drips
  2. Lift peel from syrup with tongs and spread out on rack.
  3. Leave for 24 hours or until syrup has crystallised.
  4. Spread 1 cup sugar on a plate
  5. Top with a handful of peel then toss in the sugar until it’s well coated. Add more sugar when necessary.
  6. Leave to dry 1 hour
  7. The candied orange peel will keep for 3 months in a well sealed container layered between pieces of wax paper or in glass jars with tightly fitted lids.

Sugaring Orange Peel

THE LOVE: Make sure you blanch 3 times to ensure no bitterness from the pith! The pith is the white stuff under the skin.

Sugaring Peel

printable recipe  click link for a printable version of the recipe

Candied Orange Peel

one year ago: fruitcake biscotti with white chocolate drizzle

two years ago: Christmas pork terrine with pistachios

Candied Orange Peel Finished

Thanks for reading.

Candied Orange Peel Sugared on Drying Rack