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These are like homemade sour candy and we can't stop eating them. Here’s an idea for leftover citrus flesh you'll have: Use the juice to make curd, then gift it in jars. This recipe is from Rebekah Turshen of City House in Nashville, TN.
- 4 large oranges, 3 grapefruit, or 6 lemons or limes, halved through stem ends
- 2 tablespoons citric acid
- Citric acid can be found at specialty foods stores, some supermarkets, and online.
Tear out flesh from orange halves, being careful not to create any holes in peels. It’s okay if you can’t remove all of the pith. Save flesh for another use; cut peels into ¼" strips.
Bring orange peels and 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan and cook 5 minutes. Drain and return peels to pan. Repeat process twice more, using fresh water each time. Return peels to pan; add 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook until peels are soft and translucent and vibrant looking, 30–40 minutes (about 10 minutes longer for grapefruit, or 10 minutes less for lemons or limes). Drain and transfer peels to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet; chill until cool, about 15 minutes.
Whisk citric acid and remaining 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Add peels; toss to coat. Return to rack; let sit at room temperature 1 hour. Toss peels again in sugar mixture. Return to rack; let sit 4–12 hours to dry out.
Do Ahead: Citrus peels can be candied 1 month ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Sour candied citrus peels from Bon Appétit Magazine, November 2017: The Thanksgiving Issue (page 22)
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Always check the publication for a full list of ingredients. An Eat Your Books index lists the main ingredients and does not include 'store-cupboard ingredients' (salt, pepper, oil, flour, etc.) - unless called for in significant quantity.
- 2 grapefruits, 3 oranges, or 4 lemons
- 4 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
- 4 cups water
Using a paring knife, make 6 slits along curve from top to bottom of each citrus fruit, cutting through peel but not into fruit. Using your fingers, gently remove peel. Reserve fruit for another use. Slice each piece of peel lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Using a paring knife, remove excess pith from each strip and discard.
Place strips in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat twice.
Bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Stop stirring. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Add strips to boiling syrup, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until strips are translucent, about 1 hour. Remove from heat, and let strips cool in syrup. (Strips in syrup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks.)
Using a slotted spoon, transfer strips to a wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Wipe off excess syrup with paper towels, then roll strips in sugar. Arrange in a single layer on a wire rack, and let dry for at least 30 minutes.
1- Because we will be using the peels I highly recommend using organic or non treated citrus so you don’t ingest as much chemicals. Also, I like to brush the citrus under running water before hand. Dry them well and place on a cutting board.
2- You will need to detach the skin of the orange/lemon without getting any fruit or as much as you can on the skin, so I will share a technique to help you. First slice the top and bottom of oranges and lemons. Try to only slice the skin part as much as you can.
Then slice each side of the citrus without going too deep so you don’t cut the fruit inside. You can look at the depht of the peel on top so you know how deep you should cut.
With a sharp knife go around the edges on top and at the bottom of the citrus. With the blade of your knife detach the peel from the citrus delicately. Do it only around the top and bottom as the rest will detach easily.
Once done, detach each quarter of peel delicately. You should have none to almost no citrus on the skins.
3- Flatten the peels and cut the round edges so each skin is a perfect rectangle. Slice the peels not too thick or too thin.
4- Once the peels are sliced you will have to blanch them 3 times. In a pot, add the peels, cover with cold water and let the water boil. When the water is boiling, drain the peels, rinse under cold water and repeat.
5- Weight your blanched peels. For 2 oranges and 2 lemons, I got 275g of peels. Add the peels in a pot and add the same weight of water and sugar. Let the syrup reduce until it is sticky and covering all the peels. Stir very often so the syrup doesn’t caramelized.
6- Place the peels on parchemin paper and separate them as much as possible as they may stick to each other. Let them cool down for a couple minutes.
7- Pour some sugar in a bowl and roll each peel into the sugar. Place on a plate and let them dry. The best is to wait a couple days before eating them but it usually is hard to wait that long! They are even better covered with chocolate and for this I recommend using dark chocolate to balance the sweetness of these candies.
I hope you will enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comment what you think about this recipe and if you liked it.
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Tips for Making Candied Citrus Peels
- You can use this recipe with any citrus fruit! Here I use 4 medium-sized Meyer lemons. You can make adjustments based on the citrus you’re using. For example, if you’re using limes, maybe use six or for grapefruit use two.
- I love Meyer lemons, but feel free to use any lemons you like.
- Always save peels from an oranges or grapefruits you eat. You can follow the same instructions, but because there will be a lot more of the white pith (since I’m assuming you peeled the skin with your hands and not a peeler), repeat the initial boiling process at least four or five times.
Enjoy, and I hope this inspires you to start cooking up some delicious recipes using candied citrus peels.
RECIPE: Candied Citrus Peel From Liddabit Sweets
We’ve been gnawing on apples since October, but we’ll cheer ourselves up with something as golden as the sun: candied citrus peel, courtesy of those sweet girls at Liddabit.
Comfort me with (something other than) apples.
T.S. Eliot may have been talking about the locavore larder when he wrote that most famous line, “April is the cruelest month.” Today the sun is shining, our coats are off and I’m salivating for the taste of spring — but the strawberries and rhubarb are still weeks away and I’ve been gnawing on apples since October.
So as I plan plantings and count the days til lemon balm and lemon thyme, I’ll cheer myself up with something as golden as the sun: candied citrus peel, courtesy of those sweet girls at Liddabit. This recipe, adapted from their madcap cookbook, is easy to make, even if you rock the chocolate coating.
The candied peels keep up to a month, by which time I hope to be making strawberry shortcake. Bring it, spring!
Candied citrus peel
For candying the peels:
5 large (5-inch) oranges or medium-size grapefruits, or 7 medium-size (3-inch) lemons or limes
2 cups (475 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (350 g) light corn syrup or honey
For dredging and finishing:
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar, preferably superfine, or sour sugar, for dredging
2 cups (13 ounces/370 g) chopped dark chocolate, or 2 cups (13 ounces/375 g) chopped dark chocolate and ⅓ cup (75 g)
mild vegetable oil, for dipping (optional)
1. Wash the fruit thoroughly with soap and water to remove any wax. Cut the fruit into quarters with a paring knife, and slice away the pulp from each quarter (save it for juice, lemonade, or whatever you like). Remove as much of the spongy white pith as possible without damaging the outer peel. Slice the cleaned peels into ½- inch-wide strips.
2. Place the peels in a medium-size (3- to 4-quart) saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, pour it off through the strainer, reserving the peels. Refill the saucepan with cold water, add the peels, and repeat the boil-strain procedure two more times.
3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1 cup of cold water in the same saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
4. Add the reserved peels to the sugar syrup. Return the heat to high and bring the syrup back to a rolling boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and keep the mixture at a low simmer, uncovered, until the syrup thickens somewhat and the peels look slightly translucent, 1 hour.
5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to sit until the syrup is lukewarm to cool, 2 to 3 hours. Drain the syrup from the peels (you can reserve it to sweeten tea, cocktails, and other cold drinks). Set the cooling rack over the prepared baking sheet and spread the peels evenly on the cooling rack, allowing them to drain for 30 to 45 minutes, until they are no longer wet but still sticky.
6. Place the dredging sugar in a small bowl. Dredge the peels in the sugar and return them to the cooling rack. Allow them to sit, uncovered, until they are dry and only very slightly sticky to the touch, 12 to 18 hours. The candied peels are ready to eat!
7. If you want to gussy up the peels with chocolate: Temper the 2 cups chopped dark chocolate, or use the 2 cups chopped dark chocolate and ⅓ cup oil to make Cheater’s Chocolate Coating. Grasp the end of a candied peel and dip it about halfway in the chocolate place the peel on the second prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the peels are dipped allow them to set up, 15 to 30 minutes.
8. Store the candied peels in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 1 month.
Why You Should Stop Tossing Your Citrus Peels
If you still consider the rinds on your lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruits garbage, it's high time you step into the light.
Have you ever gotten a present, squealed with delight at its contents, then tossed the box and packing materials out only to realize later that you inadvertently chucked out something else that was in theresh, a gift card, or something else of value? If you&aposre tossing out your citrus peels all willy nilly, that&aposs exactly what you&aposre doing. The jewel-like segments and tangy juice may get all the fanfare, but there&aposs plenty of appeal in the, y&aposknow, peel.
Lemons, grapefruits, limes, pomelos, tangerines, and an exceptional array of oranges are at their peak this time of year, and you might as well put the whole fruit to work. In addition to the obvious pleasures of citrus fruit in seasonal baked goods, salads, savory dishes, cocktails, and mocktails, those rinds are permeated with fragrant oil that can be showcased in plenty of unexpected ways.
If you possibly can, opt for organic and unsprayed fruit, or give it a thorough scrub to get rid of any possible pesticides and other contaminants. For each of these uses, assume unless otherwise specified, that you should be removing the outermost layer of the rind in broad strips with a vegetable peeler or a very sharp knife, picking up as little of the spongy white pith as you can. This is most easily accomplished while the fruit is still whole, but if life hands you a hull, you&aposll cope. Just drape it over a sturdy, upended glass and do your best.
Choose to infuse
Oil, vinegar, spirits, simple syrup, and even water are made better and brighter by the addition of citrus peels. For oil, vinegar, and spirits, simply slip your desired quantity of peel into a tightly lidded vessel or bottle and let the flavors come together in a cool, dark place for a week or two before sampling. For water, just add strips of peel to a pitcher of water and let it chill in the fridge overnight.
Candy is dandy
Don&apost worry if some pith is clinging to the peels here just remove any hard ends and slice the peel into thick strips or segments. Cover them with cold water in a saucepan, and bring them to a boil. Drain the water, and do it again, toss the peels into cold water, then scrape off any excess pith. In that same pan, combine equal parts sugar and water, add the peels and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once the syrup has thickened and the peels are slightly translucent, pour the liquid into a lidded container to store in the fridge and spoon into drinks.
Take the peels, place them on a cooling rack over a baking sheet to let the excess syrup drip off and dry, then dredge them in sugar (and a little citric acid if you want to hit a slightly sour note). The candied citrus peels keep in a sealed container in the fridge for several months, and are marvelous as a standalone snack, or folded into scones, muffins, cookies, and other treats.
Punch things up
If you peek at retro drink recipes, you may notice that plenty of punches call for oleo-saccharum. Don&apost go looking for it on the shelves of your liquor store just put the peels of six to eight pieces of citrus (lemons and oranges are traditional, but feel free to play around with grapefruit, too, and skip the lime) into a bowl, cover them with half a cup of sugar and let it sit covered for a few hours or up to a day to let the sugar draw the oils from the peels. Strain the liquid into a lidded container, pressing on the peels to extract every last bit of flavor. It will store well in the refrigerator, but once you start deploying it in punches, cocktails, lemonade, and homemade sodas, you&aposll find you rarely need to.
Go High and dry
Both zest and peels dry beautifully in the oven, making your home smell like heaven in the process. If you have a dehydrator, you&aposre a lucky duck and should just use that, but the rest of us can preheat to the lowest possible heat setting (even a "keep warm" mode will do) sprinkle the zest and peels on baking sheets, and set a timer for 20 minutes. If the peel isn&apost dry, check back in five-minute increments until it is. Chop the dried peel finely and combine it with salt, sugar, or your favorite black tea to bring a little extra zip to whatever you&aposre cooking or sipping.
Preserving peels in simple syrup
You don&rsquot need a rolling boil for this process. Instead, keep the simple syrup at a gentle bubble as it simmers.
Keeping the pot on a medium low heat is probably the best temperature, but it will depend on your stovetop.
During the simmering process, the fruit peels will take on a translucent look and the syrup will reduce and become thicker.
It&rsquos not quick, but it is easy.
Though the steps for making candied orange and citrus peels are very easy, they do take some time. Here&rsquos why:
- To remove most of the bitterness from the rinds and make them soft and pliable, the peels need to blanched 3 times in boiling water (changing the water after each blanching).
- The candied citrus peel needs to be arranged on a wire rack so they&rsquore not touching to drain and dry. I know that sounds simple (and it is) but it still takes a bit of time to separate and arrange them so they&rsquore not sitting atop one another.
- The peels need to dry for an hour or two after candying until they&rsquore mostly dry and slightly tacky. So, that&rsquos easy&hellip you don&rsquot have to do anything&hellip go read a book or watch some Netflix.
- After the final sugar coating, dry the candied citrus again. That means spreading the peels on a wire rack, so they don&rsquot touch and letting them rest for an hour or so. (If you put wet or even very moist candied peels on top of one another, their crystallized sugar coating will dissolve. )
Sour Candied Citrus Peels - Recipes
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Combine the baking soda with 2 pints water and soak the peel (zest) for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the water and cover peel with fresh water. Simmer on low heat until tender (about 30 minutes). Strain out the peel and set aside.
Bring the water to a boil and boil until only 1 cup water remains. Add 1 cup sugar and return the peel to the pan.
Simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the peels are transparent and the syrup thickens. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peel to a wire rack and drain overnight.
The next day, boil the syrup again for 30 minutes then return the peel to the syrup. Strain out peel and dry on wire rack. When dry, roll the peel in granulated or sanding sugar until coated.
Dry and store in an airtight container in a cool place. May be stored in refrigerator if desired, but container must be airtight and not allow in any humidity.
Note: Optionally, for added flavor, you can add a vanilla bean to the syrup or a few drops of vanilla or orange oil.
Candied Orange Peels Recipe
Now without any further ado, here is my candied orange peel recipe.
- Baby Mandarins / Cuties – 4
- Water – 2 cups + 1 cup
- Sugar – 1 cup + 1/2 cup for coating
- Cut the mandarin peel into 4 or more vertical segments, depending on the size of the fruit.
- Carefully remove the peel and the rind from each segment.
- Carefully remove the peels from sugar water. (You can use this citrus flavored sugar syrup for your tea and juices)
- Allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
- Take a small portion of the remaining sugar in a plate/bowl and place the peels on the sugar. Generously roll the orange peels on the sugar. Ensure the peels are coated nicely with sugar. Add the sugar to the plate as required. Do not add the entire sugar in the bowl.
That’s it. Candied orange peels are now ready. Wrap it and gift it or relish it as is or as a topping. You can store them in an air-tight container and refrigerate it.