The perfect authentic touch for those holiday fruitcakes you’ve been meaning to make!
Candied Citrus Peel
- 3 grapefruit or 5 oranges, peeled
- 6 cups water
- 2 ½ cups sugar + 1 cup for coating
Using a sharp knife, cut each fruit into quarters, then slice along the fruit to peel the white “pith” from the underside of the peels. Try to keep strips of peel intact, while removing most of the bitter pith, leaving approximately 1/8 inches of peel. Eat or wrap the remaining fruit – it will not be needed for this recipe. Cut the peels into strips approximately ¼ – ½ inch wide.
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and continue to heat uncovered until boiling for approximately 5 minutes. Add in the strips of peel and reduce the heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours, until the sugar-water syrup reduces to a quarter of its original volume.
After reducing, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. Drain the peels in a colander and preheat your oven to 200° F.
Pour one cup of granulated sugar into a bowl long enough to contain the peels. Dredge each peel in the sugar until it is coated on both sides and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the the sugar-coated peels at 200° F for one hour, which will effectively dry them. Another option (if you have the time) is to simply leave them on a drying rack overnight to dry them.
Once the peels have dried, you may eat them as candies, dip half of each peel in melted chocolate and allow to cool as a variation on this candy, or slice them into small chunks for use in recipes like fruitcake.