Make these once and you’ll probably never throw orange (or any citrus) rinds away ever again.
3 navel oranges
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup, glucose syrup or honey
Wash and dry the oranges, then cut off the very ends and score them in quarters from top to bottom. Peel the rinds off the fruit, trimming away any excess pith, then cut the rinds into 1/2″ slices.
Put the peels in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring the water to the boil for two minutes. Drain the peels, cover them again with cold water, and boil for another two minutes. Repeat the process a third time (this will eliminate most of the pith’s bitterness).
Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium saucepan and bring it to the boil over high heat. Bring the syrup to 238 degrees. Add the peel, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the peels are translucent and soft to the bite.
Remove the peels from the syrup and place them on a parchment-lined rack for roughly three hours. Once completely cooled they’re ready for use. To make candy out of them, lay them into a parchment-lined sheet pan covered with crystalline sugar while they’re still hot. Toss them in the sugar after 3 hours.
The orange syrup is a happy by-product of the process. Strain it and reserve it for another use.