Creativity Magazine

Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel

By Vickilane
Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel

I am known to be somewhat cheap  frugal -- so it was with great delight that I discovered this easy (though a bit time-consuming) way of making that investment in sometimes pricey citrus stretch a bit more.  Now that that good tomatoes aren't available, we like grapefruit sections in our salad and I was about to toss the peels into the compost when I remembered going with my grandparents many, many (65-ish) years ago to a shop on the road by an orange grove that sold citrus and various citrus products. I remembered two old (ha) ladies dredging peels in sugar. . .   and I found a recipe in the Tampa Junior League's Gasparilla Cookbook
Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel
You begin by removing the peel and slicing it into strips. What you see in these pictures is the product of four small grapefruit -- as well as the hulls from two oranges and three lemons (previously squeezed for juice and set aside in anticipation of transformation.)

Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel
Put the sliced peels in a big pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel
Drain and repeat two more times.
Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel
After the third draining, return to a wide bottomed pot, add water (say four cups) and sugar (two cups)  and bring to a boil. You can adjust the amount of water and sugar to just cover the  peel -- as long as you maintain the 2:1 ratio.
Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel
Boil till there is only about a tablespoon of liquid left. Stir frequently. Near the end, there may be some browning -- no worries, the browned bits taste good. But don't overdo it.
Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel
Put on a rack to cool. I separate the pieces (a tedious, fiddly, and sticky operation that involves long tweezers.)
Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel
Then I roll them in granulated sugar -- and this pretty much has to be done one strip at a time, pressing into the sugar or it won't stick well. 
Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel
I don't really have a sweet tooth but I find these kinda addictive -- I made a flourless chocolate cake for our anniversary dinner the other night that I served with a raspberry puree-- the next day I tried a piece with one of these strips cut up and sprinkled atop -- oh, my! Now I'm thinking a nice thing to do would be to coat one end of each strip with melted chocolate . . . I wonder if those old ladies at the citrus shop tried that? Don't Throw That in the Compost! -- Candied Citrus Peel

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