Candied Orange Peels
- Pour 8 cups water in a non-reactive saucepan, add salt and bring to a boil.
- Cut oranges in 4 wedges and remove meat.
- Cut each wedge in another 4-6 strips. Add orange peels to boiling water and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Remove peels from water and discard water.
- Boil another 8 cups of water and add orange peels. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove peels and discard water.
- Boil remaining 1 1/2 cups water and sugar, add orange peels and simmer on low for 5 minutes uncovered. Remove from heat and cover pan. Leave in pan to cool completely, at room temperature or refrigerator, several hours or overnight.
- When peels have cooled, bring mixture back to a very low simmer uncovered, for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover pan and allow to cool once again until completely cool. Same or next day, return pan to a low simmer uncovered for 4-5 minutes. Cover and let cool.
- Depending on thickness of bitter white pith, peels may be ready or may need another low simmering segment. Test peels by removing one peel from syrup and cutting away a small part. It should feel tender between teeth and no longer be bitter. If they need another simmer, do so or remove peels from syrup and drain very well before using.
- If using them in your favorite desserts, you may wrap them and freeze them.
- To make chocolate candied orange peels, place candied orange peels on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 200°F oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let dry at room temperature for at least a day. Peels need to be completely dry. Sticky is normal but if still slightly wet, bake for another 30 minutes in a 200°F oven until dry.
- Chop chocolate bars into small pieces suitable for melting. Select a saucepan and a metal or glass bowl that fit nicely together for a double boiler. Bring 1-inch of water to boil and reduce to simmer. Place 2/3 of chocolate in bowl and place on top of saucepan. Set remaining chocolate aside. Stir constantly until chocolate is nearly melted and has reached 115°F. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 112°F. Add remaining chocolate and stir until most of chocolate has melted and temperature of chocolate has dropped below 90°F. Dip candied orange peels into chocolate and place on parchment or plastic lined cookie sheets. If chocolate is getting too thick, heat for about 4-5 seconds in a microwave oven and stir very well.