I’ve got to admit that the husband absolutely hates this stuff. I think it’s pretty great, though, and a good way to use up the rind from all the citrus you end up eating in those dark days of winter when nothing else at the market looks worth eating. I save my peels in plastic bags in the fridge and make up a batch every once in a while.
This recipe works well for most citrus except for grapefruit and pomelos. They need a longer blanching in 4 changes of water so that they aren’t face puckeringly bitter. They’re worth the extra work, though!
Peel from 10 washed oranges (or the equivalent in other fruit)
3 cups water
4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp honey or corn syrup
Put the peel in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Start checking after 30 minutes so they don’t end up mushy.
Once the peel is cooked, drain it well and allow to cool. Scrape away any remaining white pith then cut into the desired shape. If you need the peel for florentines, fruitcake, panforte or the like, cut it into dice now. If you’ll be serving it as candy, I like to cut it into long strips.
Bring the water, sugar, and honey to a boil. Add the peel and cook over medium until the temperature reaches 225 degrees. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, the peel will be translucent and the syrup quite thick – about the thickness of liquid hand soap. Strain the peel then lay it out to dry on a cookie rack set over parchment or the sink.
Once all the excess syrup has drained off and the peel is just slightly sticky, roll it in extra sugar then spread it out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a year.
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Room for Dessert