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Orange Peel in Syrup – why waste the peel?

I was making a cake last week that required candied orange peel but instead I used zest since I had no peel. It got me thinking about all the oranges we eat and all that lovely peel that gets thrown away. I don’t have this problem with lemons as we use so much lemon zest in our cooking that I more likely to have lots of naked lemons in the fridge. So I decided that  oranges would be my fruit of the week and pre peel them, turning the peel into these lovely syrupy bits of rind. The advantage of that was I  had ready peeled oranges to eat at work, the downside was, like all food with me if it’s in front of me it gets eaten so I consumed them over 2 days instead of the whole week :o)

Alternately, so you don’t get an orange overload in one day, each orange you eat you could pop the peel into the freezer and when you have enough defrost them and make the syrup. I have already made the most amazing chocolate orange scones with the syrupy peel and plan to make an ice cream at some point. You can also put a few spoons full into a chocolate cake or my brownies here. Or simply spoon over yoghurt or ice cream or jazz up your cereal with some.


  • Peel from 5 Oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups water


  1. Quarter oranges and remove peel, removing any excess pith. Slice orange peel into strips
  2. Place peel strips into a pan of water and boil for 3 minutes to remove some bitterness. Other recipes suggest repeating this 3 times but didn’t and find the rind tastes great.
  3. Drain the boiled water and add the cup of sugar and cup and half of water to the rind and place over a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
  4. Turn heat up and gently boil until the water reduces by half and has become syrupy.
  5. Pour into sterilised jars and place lid on while hot.
11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Such a great idea, looks so pretty, and yum:) Want to try it in Brownies,mmmm!

    March 24, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      And it’s your brownie recipe with my marmalade!

      March 24, 2011
  2. Freezing the peels/zest is actually a great idea! Maybe I should do that with the lemon too!!

    The thing is that I tend to use only the peels of organic citrus, and for oranges in NZ… well, the ones that are imported from the USA are probably super treated, and the oranges that grow in NZ don’t seem to have the right peel… is quite different from Italian oranges, maybe there are less essential oils (this is why you only had to boil them once to remove the bitterness) and the texture is also different.

    Sorry do I sound like a food snob…

    Any suggestion of the type of oranges to use?


    Think that lots of Italian are keen to come and visit Muriwai!

    March 24, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      I only use the local fruit but you are right about it being different, the peel and pith was quite thick so I had to remove some pith. The main thing is to use the fruit you like to eat and the syrupy peel is just a bonus by product. Perhaps won’t appeal to everyone but I am marmalade junkie! I’m looking forward to meeting everyone when they come to Muriwai.

      March 25, 2011
      • Yep, it is going to be great! Ever though of making orange flavoured croissants? Maybe a jaffa version (chocolate and orange peel!)?


        March 27, 2011
      • peasepudding #

        A great idea, I better save some peel so we can experiment!

        March 27, 2011
  3. Great Idea Allison,
    How about candy it and then cover with chocolate. Yum.

    March 24, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      I think I will try that with the next batch, could be dangerous though orange and chocolate!

      March 25, 2011
  4. Heeee ‘naked lemons’. Good way of describing them! This reminds me of an orange confit recipe I made once. Your jar of peel looks gorgeous and sounds really useful as well, I love the sound of those chocolate orange scones! 🙂

    March 24, 2011
  5. I want this on yogurt! I am going to start freezing my peels…

    March 25, 2011
  6. Some recipes are winners, especially one like this Alli. Simple and delicious. Will have to wait for the next orange season for trying it out…mmm!

    March 28, 2011

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