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Candied Peel

Candied Peel

My former mother in law used to make homamade marzipan stuffed dates and candied orange peel as part of her holiday dessert offerings. The stuffed dates didn't take with me as I found them overwhelmingly sweet, but I did enjoy the candied peel, especially when I made them myself and used grapefruit peel instead. Here I have used pomelo peel since I had vast amounts left after making a Thai pomelo salad, but the point is that you can use any citrus peel you have (or whole kumquats) and not only make something delicious, but reduce waste. Visitors will also be very impressed with these, especially if you take the extra step of dipping each of the candied peels about a third of the way up in melted dark chocolate.

I prefer to leave them plain and serve them with a cheese plate, with after dinner drinks, or with a couple of strands laid across the saucer of a mid afternoon cup of tea or post prandial espresso. You can also chop these up and use them in homemade Panettone.

2 cups citrus peel from organic fruit, as much pith as possible removed and sliced into thin strips

1 cup water

1 1/2 cups sugar

Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the peel and let boil for 3 minutes. Drain and repeat 3 times. This will help counter any bitterness in the peel.

While the peel is draining from its last bath, measure one cup of the sugar and one cup of the water into the same pan that you used to boil the peel.

As soon as the sugar has melted, and the liquid is starting to boil, lower the heat to its lowest possible setting and add the peel. Stir to combine the peel with the liquid, cover the pan and let cook for 45 minutes until the peel is tender and translucent. I suggest checking every fifteen minutes and giving the peel a quick stir so that the syrup does not evaporate and the peels burn. Add a tablespoon or so more water if the levels of syrup in the pan look like they are about to completely disappate.

While the peel is candying, measure the remaining half cup of sugar into a large container with a lid.

Once the peel is cooked, remove from the heat and, using either a slotted spoon or chopsticks, remove the peel strips from the pan and drop in the container with the sugar. Once all the peel has been added to the container, cover tightly and shake vigorously to coat each peel segment with some of the dry sugar. Wait a couple of minutes and do this again.

Open the container and use your fingers to ensure that no pieces of peel are stuck together. Cover again and shake to distribute any remaining sugar.

This will keep for weeks in the fridge.


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