Candied Orange Peel
- 3 navel oranges—choose unblemished, plump oranges, with peel that feels soft and moist (not dry and like it is separating from the fruit within)
- 2-1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup water plus lots more water
Cut the ends off the orange and discard. Incise four cuts longitudinally on the orange—don’t cut into the fruit if you can avoid it. Remove the peel from the fruit. Set aside the fruit for another use. Scrape the pith off the peel (I used a grapefruit spoon to do this). Cut the peel into long, very skinny strips and put them into a heavy saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and pour off the water. Do this twice more.
Put the peel into a bowl and wash out the saucepan. Then put the pan back on the stove and pour in the sugar and the 3/4 cup water. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring with a whisk when the water starts to warm to mix everything together. Simmer this gently about 8 to 10 minutes, then add the peel. You are going to simmer the peel for about 45 minutes or so, until it is very tender. You don’t have to hover over the stove, but I do recommend checking frequently to make sure the syrup isn’t boiling too fast or that you are not burning the peel. Also, do not stir the peel—if you are worried about the way it is distributed, shake the pot gently; if something is protruding above the fray, poke it back in with the end of a spoon. No stirring! Or you may cause sugar crystals to form. When you get to the 45-minute mark, take out a strip of peel, let it cool for a moment, and then taste to check for appropriate tenderness.
When the orange peel is ready, turn off the heat. Using tongs, set out the orange peel onto foil-lined baking asheets and allow it to dry for at least a day.