Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Candied Citrus Peels

So this is one of the recipes that I added to my holiday baking list after I had supposedly finalized it. I came across the recipe on the Martha Stewart website and thought they looked fun and different and not too difficult. Made from oranges and lemons, they reminded me of gel candy fruit peels, which Eric loves. (They taste as awful lot like them too!) And they'd make a nice contrast to all the chocolate candy I was making. But the main reason I decided to make them: their color. One of the reason I love to cook and bake so much is because food appeals not only to taste and smell, but also sight, sound, and touch. What drew me to these candied citrus peels was simply how vibrant and pretty they looked. 

Candied orange and lemon peels
2 large oranges
1 lemon
3 1/2 cups water
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus extra for decorating

*You can also make these using grapefruits. We're just not grapefruit eaters.

Cut six slits from the top of the fruit to the bottom. You only want to cut through the peel, not into the fruit. Gently remove each section of the peel using your fingers. Save the actual fruit for another purpose. Next, remove the white pith from the rinds. Eric did this part, and he found that the easiest way was to pretend you were flaying a fish. Once the pith has been removed, cut each peel into 1/4-inch wide strips.

In a large saucepan, cover the strips with cold water, bring to a boil, and then drain. Repeat this step two more times so you have boiled and drained the peels a total of three times. Set the peels aside.

Pour 3 1/2 cups of water and sugar into saucepan and boil until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Once sugar is dissolved, quit stirring. Place the strips into the boiling syrup and adjust heat to medium-low. Allow the peels to simmer until the strips become translucent, approximately 1 hour. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the peels to cool in the syrup.

Transfer the peels to a wire rack. Place a rimmed cookie sheet beneath the wire rack to catch the syrup drippings. Pat the strips with paper towels to remove any excess syrup. Roll the strips in granulated sugar and place on wax paper to to dry, about 30 minutes. 

Next year I think I'll add limes to the mix, just for that brilliant and Christmas-y green color.



2011 Christmas Baking List:
Mint-Chocolate Truffles
Starlight Mint Cake
Sea Salt Caramels
Rocky Road Chocolate Log
Candied Citrus Peels
Easy Rum Balls
Homemade Marshmallows
Christmas Kiss Cookies
Tea Cookies

Other Holiday Cooking Ideas:
Snowflake Tortillas
Gingerbread House Decoration Ideas
Christmas Peep S'mores

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