Candied Citrus Peel

candied-peel.jpg

After making the panna cotta tart with all those different kinds of citrus, I had a bunch of peel left over, so of course I had to do something with it! And since I love candied peel, this seemed like a great opportunity. I had grapefruit, Cara Cara orange, and blood orange peel to work with (the clementine peel was too thin and the kumquats required a different technique).

While I’d made candied lemon peel before it hadn’t firmed up as well as I’d expected, instead staying kind of soft and soggy– fine for use in ice cream or baking, but not so great for snacking. I decided this time to try a different recipe from David Lebovitz, who has some great recipes both on his website and in his books. It was basically the same as the other recipe, calling for blanching the peels (three times this time since grapefruit can be bitter) and then boiling in sugar syrup.

Oddly, my grapefruit peels refused to turn translucent, staying stubbornly white while the other peels turned just fine. After boiling and boiling well past the estimated time in the recipe, I finally decided to just let it go and set everything out to dry together overnight. They turned out better than I’d anticipated– still soft, but not squishy or soggy.

Since I like my peel chewy rather than soft, I let these dry on the baking pan, coated in sugar, for a good 24 hours after the initial overnight drying period. They were much better after the lengthy drying time, and I couldn’t stop snacking on them!

Here’s the recipe– you can use any citrus peel and I think it would turn out great! And stay tuned for a later post on what I did with the leftover syrup!

Candied Citrus Peel (adapted from David Lebovitz)

Grapefruit, orange, or other citrus peels
500g sugar (about 2 1/2 cups)
500g water (about 2 cups)
2 tbs. corn syrup
 
Extra sugar for dredging
1. Slice peels into 1/2″ strips. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water (this is not the water in the recipe above– just use however much you want). Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
candied-peel-boil
2. Drain the water and replace with fresh water. Repeat the boiling and simmering process.
3. Drain the water again and replace with fresh water. Repeat the boiling and simmering one more time. Drain.
4. Return the drained peels to the pot with the sugar and water in the recipe, plus the corn syrup. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat slightly to a low boil and cook the peels until they’re translucent. The syrup won’t necessarily reduce all that much, and for some reason some of my peels just never changed color, but the process took about an hour. The temperature of the syrup will hit about 218 degrees F.
candied-peel-drying
6. Drain the peels in a colander, then spread them on a wire cooling rack and let sit 12 hours at room temperature to dry out a bit.
7. Sprinkle some granulated sugar on a baking sheet and use your hands to toss the candied peel in the sugar, adding more sugar as needed and shaking off any excess, until the peels are well-coated and no longer feel sticky.
candied-peel-sugar
8. Let peels dry for another 8-24 hours on the sugar-covered baking sheet, depending on how dried-out you’d like them to be. Store in airtight containers and nibble on the peel every time you pass by…

 

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