Candied Citrus Peel
Source: Jordan Champagne, It Starts with Fruit
When you start making marmalade and other citrus preserves, you’ll have a lot of citrus peels around. Once you learn how easy it is to make candied citrus peels, you will not throw away another rind! This is a really fun candy to make and you can feel good about the simple ingredients that went into it!
Citrus rinds (as many as you have)
Organic cane sugar
Scoop the flesh from the peels, trying to remove as much of the pith as possible because that is where the bitterness lies. Slice the peels into whatever shapes you desire. Long strips or tiny triangles, it is really just a matter of style. Add the peels to a pot and cover with a measured amount of water. Be sure to just cover your peels with water; they float, so this can be deceptive. Cover the pot and simmer until the peels are very tender. This will vary for all citrus; lemons and grapefruit usually take 30 to 35 minutes. Oranges and limes have denser peels and take 40 to 50 minutes. You can tell when the peels are tender if you pinch one between two fingers and it breaks apart.
When tender, drain thoroughly, discard the water, and return the peels to the pot. While they are still warm, add the same amount of sugar as you did of measured water. (So if it took 3 cups [720 ml] of water to cover the peels, then you’ll need 3 cups [600 g] of sugar. This may seem like a lot of sugar, but we are making candy!) We need this amount of sugar because we are going to simmer the peels in the melted sugar, and we need all of the peels to be surrounded in the liquid so they get saturated.
Simmer the peels in the sugar over medium heat for about 45 minutes or until the pieces become translucent and saturated to the very core. You can break them apart to check on their center. When finished, strain very well and save the sugar juice in a jar in the refrigerator; it can be used for sweetening tea or making shrubs or spritzers!
Preheat the oven to 200°F [95°C]. Lay the candied peels flat in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the peels from the oven and dust lightly with a bit more sugar. Let the peels sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 days to dry out before storing in a jar. These will keep for 6 months.
VARIATION : In the final stage of dusting with sugar, you can add any spices that you desire. In our kitchen we have been having a lot of fun with this and have made all sorts of combinations that people love! We have added lavender, cinnamon and nutmeg, garam masala, and even cayenne and sea salt. We toss the peels in the spices mixed with a little sugar just after we pull them out of the oven and before drying them out. Adding flavorings at this stage ensures that they’ll really stick to the peels. Have fun with it!
Reprinted from It Starts with Fruit by Jordan Champagne with permission by Chronicle Books, 2020. Photography by Erin Sctt.