One day last week I stayed home from work because Kylee had strep and couldn't go to school. I decided to have a kitchen day. I made homemade stock (from chicken feet!), sourdough rolls, chicken noodle soup (with homemade noodles), and candied citrus peels. It was really nice to have a day to putz around in the kitchen! Most nights I get home from work and don't really feel like cooking anything, so it's nice to recharge my cooking batteries.
I first heard of candied citrus peels several years ago on Martha Stewart's show (or online, can't remember). I wanted to try them, but never really got around to it until last year. I attempted last year, but forgot about them when they were on the stove and they burned. So then I put it on the back burner (ha!) until this year. We had an issue of Martha's Food magazine, and this recipe was in it.
I decided to use a few grapefruit I had, because they were starting to get dehydrated and I thought it'd be good to use them up. Turns out, fresh fruit is way better because dehydrated peels are too tough and chewy.
You just use a knife to cut down the side of the fruit, trying to keep most of the pith on the fruit itself. I ended up doing 2 grapefruit and 2 oranges. The oranges were fresh and peeled way easier. If I had a chunk with too much pith, I'd just trim it off.
The peels go into a pot with water and should boil for 10 minutes or until they're tender.
Then they go on a wire rack to dry for about 10 minutes.
After that, mix 1 c sugar with 1 c water (to make a simple syrup) and boil peels in this for 8-10 minutes or until translucent.
Then they go back on a rack to dry for about an hour.
Then roll the peels in sugar to coat, and they're done.
I just looked up the recipe on Martha's website, and it's completely different than the one in her magazine. What's up with that, Martha? The webite says to cut the entire fruit into 1/4 inch slices (cut the fruit while it's on its side), which would be easier than what I did, and you'd get more uniform slices of peel. I'll do it that way next time. It also says to boil in the simple syrup for one hour, and then to wipe off the excess sugar syrup before rolling in sugar. This would also be good, because mine turned out a little gooey, so I had to roll them in sugar again the next day.
They still tasted great! Well, the orange ones at least. The grapefruit are a little too tough. I might try the grapefruit again if I had fresh ones. The orange peels taste just like those orange slice candies though. Love those!