Ever since my friend sent me candied orange segments from one of Madrid’s oldest sweet shops, I’ve been on a wild goose chase to find that flavour. I tried candying segments, but that didn’t work as I imagined. I ended up with sticky yet delicious syrup that I could add to drinks, but had to toss the segments. Next, I bought candied orange segments from Dalloyau when I was in Paris. Hardly a match for the Madrid ones. While I didn’t want to repeat my candied segment disaster, I thought I’d start with something relatively simple: candied orange peels.
Too petrified of messing things up, I followed the steps for candying orange I found on Smitten Kitchen made with simple syrup. At first, the candied oranges were a little firm and chewy, and I told them off on the first day. Surprisingly, the texture changed for the better after two days of sitting in a bowl of sugar, and I had myself some mighty fine candied oranges that I couldn’t stop nibbling on.
- First, cut 6 oranges into 4 segments. Carefully, turn the pulp out.
- Now cut each quarter orange peel into 6-8 strips, depending on how large your oranges are. This, I found was the way to get even strips.
- Next, blanch the oranges in boiling water for a few minutes. Repeat this 2-3 times. This helps get the bitterness out of the pith, as well as makes the orange peel more receptive to absorb the sugar in the next step.
- Finally, prepare the simply syrup 245g. (8oz.) caster sugar and 245g (8oz.) water and bring this to simmer. Add the blanched orange peels to this and let it cook for 30-40 minutes, util translucent. Make sure to stir it every now and then, or you might end up with some burnt strips (which I did).
- Once cooked, lay the strips of candied orange on a cooling rack in a tray (that will hold the excess syrup dripping off) and let it dry for 2-3 hours. I left mine overnight. It’ll still be pretty darn stick.
- Now toss this some caster sugar until it’s well coated.
Tip: You can add some additional orange zest into the leftover sugar from coating the candied orange to have flavoured sugar!