Tis the season for grey, rainy days, which is why I think you should buy lots of brightly colored citrus while it's also in season. It's good for you and all that, which is why I coat it in sugar and maybe some dark chocolate while I'm at it. Blood oranges, like Meyer Lemons, are a more recent supermarket staple; I don't ever recall seeing them in the midwest until less than 10 years ago. The peel has a rosy blush to it, and the flesh is light pink to dark red, almost purple. I think blood oranges taste like fruit punch. :-)
Candied orange peel is great chopped up and added to baked goods (cranberry-orange scones, or the Panettone I made at Christmas, anyone?), or you can eat it as a tasty dessert, especially if the finished candied orange peels happen to go for a swim in a dark chocolate bath (you never know what they're up to when your back is turned). Try using your favorite citrus peel in place of the blood oranges; originally I was inspired by this recipe for candied Meyer lemon peels, so experiment with anything from the normal naval oranges to Satsumas or lemons.
3 large blood oranges
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup for coating the finished peel
1. Cut off both ends of the oranges, then slice the peel in half with a paring knife, cutting through the pith but not the fruit itself. Starting where you made the cut through the peel, you should be able to slide your fingers in between the peel and the orange itself and keep peeling until you've removed it from the fruit. Set the flesh aside for another use, or juice it and add some sparkling water (or you know...champagne) for a tasty winter cocktail.
2 Slice the peel into equally-sized strips.
3. Place the strips of orange peel into a medium-sized saucepan and fill with cold water. Bring the water to boil over medium heat, and let boil for a minute, then drain the peels into a colander and rinse under cold water.
4. Repeat step 3 two more times for a total of 3 times. The reason for this is because the peel would be way too bitter if you skipped this step, so you can do it!
5. After blanching the peel three times, set aside temporarily while combining 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar with 1 1/2 cups of water in the medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and comes to a simmer. Add the blanched peels to the sugar and simmer over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes, or until the peel is translucent and soft.
6. Strain the peel (if you have leftover orange-flavored sugar syrup, add it to the winter cocktail I mentioned above, you will thank me for the suggestion). Coat the peels in the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and lay to dry on a metal rack overnight until dry to the touch.
7. If you are feeling extra naughty, melt 4 oz dark chocolate in a bowl set on top of a simmering pot of water, then dip the dried candied peels into the chocolate. Place the chocolate-dipped peels on a piece of parchment paper until set, then try not to eat them all before you give them to a friend for her birthday.