Here's a special New Year's RV Recipe – Candied Orange Peel. You can make this anywhere, be it your home or RV kitchen.
Our family has a tradition of making chocolate covered candied orange peel for special occasions. This delightful treat was a favorite of my Mom's and likely my grandmother Jean, who was a well-respected candy maker in addition to many other recognized talents.
Purchasing these candies even by the piece from a quality confectionery store is not an easy substitute. The handcrafted candy takes a little more time to create compared to other chocolates and can be hard to find. When found the price can be rather steep; however if you invest about an hour of your time in preparation and making this candy you will find the taste and texture of the candied orange peel delightful and the price rather economical.
I quickly learned to make these candied peels and loved bringing a small quantity of the finished candies when visiting my folks for a get-together whether it was a birthday celebration, Valentine's Day or Easter.
The contrast between the tangy orange peel and the sweet dark chocolate is wonderful! There is a burst of orange peel oil still present in the candy and complimented by the smooth, silky tasty dark chocolate coating at one end of the candy. I like to make a batch of candied orange peel most anytime that navel oranges are available.
Can you make these Candied Orange Peel while on an RV Adventure?
Absolutely. The process is simple and requires just a shortlist of ingredients and equipment.
Some interesting information about candied fruit
Candied fruit has existed since the 14th century. Whole fruit, smaller pieces of fruit, or pieces of peel, prepped and then taken through a water bath process followed by simmering in a heated simple syrup process and then air dried. This process allows the fruit to retain its quality for up to a year.
The continual process of drenching the fruit in syrup causes the fruit to become saturated with sugar, preventing the growth of microorganisms in this preservative state.
Fruits that are commonly candied include citrus and cherries.
Chocolate covered Candied Orange Peel
2 – 3 oranges
1 cup sugar + plus 1/2 cup for dipping cooked orange peels
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- Peel sticker off oranges (if present) then rinse and scrub the c under warm running water.
- Using a paring knife, cut approximate 2″ lengths of orange peel, cutting from the stem end of the citrus to the base.
- Trim most of the white pith off. To removed the pith, use a paring knife held nearly horizontal to the slice of orange peel with white pitch facing upward. Hold the 2″ section you are working on at the end closest to you. Cut the pith off sliding the paring knife horizontal and gently shaving the pith towards the distal end of the citrus. Discard the pith. Cut the orange slices into 1/4″ x 2″ pieces (approximately).
- Place the orange peel sections in a pan 2/3 full with cold water. Turn the heat under the pan on to medium high, bring the water to a boil. After the solution reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the orange peel simmer for a few minutes.
- Discard the water in the pan. Leave the orange peel in the pan. Fill the pan up again to 2/3 full with cold water and bring it to a boil again then simmer a few minutes. Repeat once more (total of 3 times bringing the cold water to a boil, simmer, drain). Note: This process softens the peel and takes away its bitterness.
- Drain the orange peels in a colander and empty the peels onto a cutting board.
- Make a simple syrup. Place 1 cup of sugar and water in a pan, add salt, stir until dissolved then gently bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the stove to simmer, add the orange peel and let the orange peel simmer for 20 minutes.
- Pour 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl, set aside for coating orange peels after they are cooked.
- Turn the heat off on the stovetop and set pan aside. Add vanilla to the pan with the oranges and simple syrup, let the solution rest for 5 minutes then place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
- When peels are dry, place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 second then stir. Repeat a few times stirring after each 30 seconds. The chocolate is ready when the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir the chocolate to melt the few remaining chocolate chips.
- Dip one end of the orange peel in the chocolate and place on a sheet of baking parchment paper for chocolate to dry.
- Chocolate will dry on the orange peel quicker if you transfer the parchment paper with half coated chocolate pieces to the fridge or freezer for about 7 minutes. When chocolate has hardened, dip the half of the orange that is not coated in chocolate into the reserved sugar you set aside.
- When the candies are cooled completely, store in a sealed container.