Candied citrus peel

Candied citrus peel

By
From
New Feast
Makes
250 g
Photographer
Alan Benson

You can use this technique with just about any citrus peel. Here we use grapefruits, which need to be blanched many more times than other citrus fruits as their skins are so bitter.

The peel will keep for several months and makes a lovely garnish for desserts (such as lemon posset) and cakes (such as bitter chocolate-hazelnut cake). Use the syrup for icings and cocktails.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 pink, ruby or yellow grapefruits
caster sugar
water

Method

  1. Use a very sharp knife to score through the grapefruit skin in quarters. Peel the skin and use the flat blade of the knife to slice away as much of the pith as you can.
  2. Put the pieces of peel in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a vigorous boil then tip into a sieve to drain off the water. Because grapefruit peel is very bitter, you’ll need to repeat this blanching process about 5 or 6 times. (Other citrus fruits will only need to be blanched 3–4 times.) After the final blanching, set the peel aside to drain and air-dry for a few minutes. Use a very sharp knife to shred the peel into fine strips.
  3. Weigh the peel then transfer to a medium saucepan. Measure out double that weight of both sugar and water and add both to the pan with the peel. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Add the shredded peel and simmer very gently for 1–1 ½ hours, until the peel is translucent. Cool then transfer the zest and syrup to a jar with a lid.
  4. Make sure the peel is completely submerged in syrup or it may crystallise. If this does happen, transfer to a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar re-dissolves.
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