Candied citrus peel is an elegant garnish that is surprisingly simple to make – and it’s a food/recipe that’s been around a good long time. Wikipedia dates it back to the 14th century.
If you are a real food nerd, here’s a 1597 recipe.
Why you want to make your own candied citrus peel …
- Visually, it’s stunning.
- It’s a tasty snack/candy that by today’s food standards is a complete win since there are no bizarro chemicals … well, maybe there are no bizarro chemicals. We don’t really know what gets into fruit peel and what doesn’t … So use organic citrus fruits, and wash them.
- Citrus peel is packed with nutrition. Scientists have experimented with feeding orange peel to racehorses to improve their performance … and the results are promising … No, I’m not telling you candied citrus peel is going to undo the effects of your sedentary lifestyle and penchant for desserts – I’m telling you that as far as sugar doses go, this one is probably less harmful than others.
- The cooking process yields a delectable syrup useful for flavoring tea, desserts, cocktails …
- Both the candied peel and the syrup keep for eons.
Candied Citrus Peel
Slice off the peel, boil in water for 15 minutes, boil in sugar water for 45 minutes. Dip it in sugar. Voilá! Upscale garnish straight from your own kitchen.
- 2 - 4 lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits
- 2 c sugar for making the syrup
- 1 c water for making the syrup
- 1 - 2 c water for boiling the peels
- 1 +/- c sugar for coating the peels
Slice the peel off the fruit, trying to get just the peel and very little of the white pith. Lay the peel pith side down and thinly slice into uniform strips.
Boil the strips of peel in water 15 minutes. Discard the water and rinse the peel in a strainer.
Dissolve 2 cups sugar in 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add the peel and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Put a cup or so of sugar in a wide, flat bowl or plate. Use a slotted spoon and pick up a few peels. Let the syrup drip off. Place the peels in the sugar. Use a fork and toss them around to completely coat with sugar.
Remove the peels to a wire rack and let dry 1 - 2 days.
Store in an airtight container.
Don't discard the syrup from the boiled peels. Store this in a glass jar in the refrigerator and use to flavor tea, booze, cakes ...