Every time I gift these, I sort of hesitate a bit because I’m thinking people might think, “Why am I getting orange peel? Is this a joke? Did she forget to throw these out?” No joke, people! I need to stop worrying because I always get a “Wow! Those were great!”
So, I am now gifting the recipe to you. They are easy to make, but take some time as you have to boil and reboil and reboil to get that bitter orange peel flavor out, leaving just the sweet, tangy taste of the orange peel glazed with sugar. You know that gummy sugary orange candy we buy at the checkout counter on impulse? These will remind you of those. Be sure to keep them in an airtight sealed container as they will harden over time. I say this is a “win-win”. You can save the peeled oranges for a healthy snack. Or kick it up a notch. I’m thinking I’ll try dipping them in chocolate sometime soon.
Add sugar and finish processing according to recipe below:
- 6 naval oranges (make sure they have a somewhat thick peel)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups sugar
- Quarter 6 naval oranges and peel, taking care to keep the peels intact. Soak the peels overnight in water with 1 teaspoon salt. If necessary, set a plate over the bowl to be sure all of the peels are completely immersed in the water as they will float.
- Drain. In a Dutch oven, cover the peels in water and bring to a boil. Immediately drain and repeat this process 2 more times, draining each time.
- After the third boiling process, using kitchen shears, slice peels into strips. Return them to the Dutch oven and add 3 cups of sugar. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering until the water reduces to a light syrup and the peels become translucent.
- Drain and spread the peels on cookie sheet lined with wax paper or a linen towel to dry. While the peels are still hot, sprinkle with more sugar and toss until coated. Do this once more. Allow the peels to air dry for 3-4 hours until they are no longer moist and stick to each other.
- Store in a sealed, airtight container.
Et cetera: As I have never before experienced these anywhere but at my mother’s house at Christmas, they hold a special place in my heart. I feel her around me guiding my hand as I make these now. We were fortunate to find the hand-written recipe among her things after her passing. A treasure indeed.