Candied Orange Peel Dipped in Chocolate: An Addictive Treat
The Florida Orange
Remembering Our Childhood Treats
My hubby and I were sharing moments from our childhood the other day when we discovered we both had fond memories of the candied orange peels purchased from the local Mexican market in our little town back home.
I remembered how my dad would go for some fresh pastries and bring back a small sack of those sweet candied peels. I enjoyed sitting on the back stoop with my sisters while munching on a few after dinner. The crunchy sugar granules mixed with the orange peel made such a bitter sweet connection on my tongue.
Because we had such tender recollection of these sweet delicacies, we decided to make a batch. We made a trip to the local farmer's market where the oranges are delivered fresh from the Florida grower's orchard. Our favorite is the Navel due to its size, but the next time we make this recipe we are going to try the Honeybell since it has a sweeter taste. By the way, it is a great way to contribute to the recyling effort when using the peels as candy: eliminate the waste!
Upon our return, we spent most of the afternoon cutting the oranges. Although, rolling the peels in sugar and dipping them in chocolate took just as long to process afterwards. We had a sugary-chocolate mess on the stove, counter and floor. However, it was all worth the final result.
The recipe below is based upon Food Network's version of candied orange peel, but we improvised to our taste and cooking style. Other dipping options include shredded coconut, nuts such as chopped pecan or almonds, and marshmallow. Warning: this treat is very addictive!
Learn More About Farming In Florida
- Why did the orange cross the road? Because he wanted to be an Orange Crush!
- Why did the orange go out with the prune? Because he couldn't find a date.
- Why was the orange sitting by the side of the road? Because she ran out of juice.
- Why did the orange go to the doctor? Because she wasn't peeling well.
Try These Citrus Fruits With Chocolate!
- Types of Citrus
Citrus is a genus of flowering plant in the rue family—Rutaceae. There are more than 100 members of the genus. Read about, and view photographs of, some of the types of citrus plants grown throughout the world.
If you drive north up Interstate 95 or fast forward through Florida on the toll road, you will notice groves of oranges growing within a few feet of the highway. And at some stops along the toll road, fresh Florida oranges are sold by the bag or bushel. If indeed you come across some, buy them. You won't be disappointed, the fruit is better than candy!
Florida orange growers range Number 1 in the United States and Number 2 globally, Brazil is the leader worldwide. A good year's harvest proves beneficial to the entire US orange crop, just as a poor one will cause prices to rise. Freezing temperatures at 28 degrees Fahrenheit lasting three to four hours or more can kill or damage orange fruit and sometimes the trees. However, these temperatures can also produce sweeter oranges at a shorter "freeze" period. They than become a commodity.
When a Florida orange grove owner hears the weather report predicting a freeze, they take precautions to prevent spoilage. Fields will be flooded and fruit spayed with water to raise the temperature a few degrees to prevent damage.
In the 16th century, Ponce de Leon, introduced the orange to Florida and ordered his men to plant 100 orange seeds per person at each place they docked or landed. The trees adapted well to the subtropical climate and today the orange groves are a major industry and boost the state's economy.
The type of oranges popular to Florida growers are Navel, Temple, Honeybell, Valencia, as well as grapefruit and varieties of tangerine.
Today the Florida orange industry is nine billion per year with most of the product used to make orange juice (approximately 95%). Fruit baskets are sold during season as gift baskets and can be shipped almost anywhere in the U.S.
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Candied Orange Peel Recipe
Buy Some Florida Oranges Today!
- 6 thick-skinned Navel oranges, Honeybell or Valencia
- 4 1/2 cups Turbinado sugar, or regular table sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Water
- 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate (70% cocao) chips, or any chocolate brand of chips
- 1 cup Bitter sweet chocolate chips
- Cut tops and bottoms of the oranges and score into quarters. Cut down only to the peel (avoid cutting into the fruit).
- Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces. Save the orange segments for a salad or other recipe.
- Cut the peel into strips about 1/4 inch wide.
- Place the peels into a large saucepan filled with cold water. Cover. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Pour off water. Repeat 2 to 3 times depending upon how mellow you want the peels to taste. We blanched ours 3 times to avoid the bitterness of the peelings.
- Remove the peels from the pan.
- Whisk the sugar with 1 and 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 8 - 9 minutes. Reduce heat, and add the peels. Simmer gently. Cook until the peelings are a bit translucent in appearance (about 40 to 45 minutes). Do not stir the peels while cooking as it will crystalize the sugar.
- Drain the peels. Roll them in sugar and then dip them in melted chocolate. (See item 10 below for instructions on how to melt the chocolate chips.)
- Place them on a rack to dry for 6 hours. (We dried ours overnight for a better, stiffer texture).
- Melting the Chocolate: Use a double broiler to melt the chocolate. Place a little water in the bottom pot. The water should not touch the top pot. Put the chocolate chips into the top pot with a little water or shortening (about 2 tablespoons). Stir constantly just until the chocolate melts. Do not overheat or over-melt. Turn off heat and remove from burner. It is now ready for step 8 above.
Orange Peel, Raw
|Serving size: 6 grams|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 1 g|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
© 2013 Dianna Mendez