From January to March, Tucsonans are harvesting fruit from their citrus trees. Mature trees yield much more than a family can consume, so it’s common to have friends dropping off as many bags of oranges, lemons, and grapefruit as you’re willing to take. In the past I’ve used this bounty to make marmalade, but this year I tried something different, so here is my candied citrus peel recipe.
This only requires the peel, so you have the segments for another use. It takes nose to tail cooking to the orchard! I decided to juice grapefruit segments. I was working with six grapefruit. I don’t have an electric citrus juicer, so I put the segments in the food processor, blitzed them until smooth and then strained the slurry to end up with wonderful pink grapefruit juice.
You could use this process with other citrus peel, and lest you think you would have to spend months nibbling away at candied citrus peel, I plan to substitute diced candied grapefruit peel for candied ginger in this amazing scone recipe, or maybe candied ginger and candied grapefruit peel together in an amazing scone?
This and other candied peels could also make an amazing fruitcake. Or add some pizzazz to a pound cake or muffins. You also might try dipping the candied grapefruit peel in tempered chocolate.
- 2 large red or pink grapefruits
- 1 cup sugar, plus more for tossing
- Cut the peel on the grapefruit into quarters by scoring it (picture a globe) from pole to pole and back to the first pole, make a second circular cut 90 degrees from the first, giving you four equal segments
- Peel and slice the peel lengthwise (and white pith) into ⅜ inch slices
- If you don't want to use the pith (it provides a bitter sweet that is so characteristic of grapefruit), you could just just a vegetable peeler to take of the zest without the pith
- Place in a small pan (large if you're making multiplying the recipe), cover with cold water
- Bring to a boil, and drain
- Repeat this process twice to remove some of the bitterness; it seems to also insure that all of the slices of peel are cooking equally, the ones floating on the top will be on the bottom of the next batch
- Add 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water to the peel, bring to a boil, simmer and cook until the peel is translucent, about 15–20 minutes
- Drain; move the peel to a wire rack and let dry for 2--4 hours
- Toss in more sugar
- If your candied peel still seems too wet at this point, place back on the wire racks and put it in the oven on the lowest possible setting. In my case that is 170 F. Prop the oven door open just a smudge with a wooden spoon until you get the desired texture.