Minimizing waste is important to our family, especially in the kitchen. Plus using all parts of our fruits and vegetables is a really fun challenge and extremely gratifying. And with all of the delicious citrus we've been eating, I've been excited to find a way for us to consume the whole fruit, peel and all!
When baking and cooking with citrus, I always add the zest whether the recipe calls for it or not, but this candied citrus recipe uses the whole rind (minus the pith). And with Valentine's Day coming up, it's the perfect gift that goes beyond the traditional candy hearts and chocolates, although this candy lover would happily accept those gifts, too.
For my candy medley, I used grapefruit, Meyer lemon, and blood orange peel. I scraped the pith off with a paring knife and cut the peel into strips. Thinly sliced peels and a longer boil time will result in a crispy candy, while thicker slices and a shorter boil time will result in a chewy candy -- both are delicious. Create your own medley using your favorite citrus and put them in jars or pretty bags -- they make for the sweetest Valentine's Day gifts!
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CANDIED CITRUS PEEL RECIPE
- 6 lemons, 2 grapefruit, or 4 blood oranges (use one type of citrus at a time)
- 3 cups of sugar
- 4 cups of water
- More fine white sugar for coating
- Slice peel into quarters and then remove most of the pith with either a paring knife or with the edge of a small, sharp spoon, leaving behind a thin layer of white.
- Slice the peels into thin strips (1/8 or 1/4 inch slices depending on the kind of preferred candy texture).
- Place the peels into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 30 seconds and drain water. Repeat for a total of three times.
- Pour 4 cups of water into the saucepan along with the 3 cups of sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the peels to the saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to a low simmer.
- Simmer the peels for 60-90 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
- Drain the peels (and save the citrus syrup for sodas and/or cocktails)
- On a racked baking sheet, spread the peels in a single, even layer and let cool for about 30 minutes.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of fine white sugar into a bowl and dip the peels until fully and evenly coated.
- Place the peels back on the rack and let dry overnight before storing in jars.