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Candied Citrus Peel - Candied Orange Peel - Candied Lemon Peel

Advanced Recipe - active time: 1 hr - start to finish: 3 days

Yield: about 2 1/2 lb

12 lemons or 8 navel oranges or 5 pink grapefruit
7 1/2 cups sugar
6 cups water

Food coloring (optional):
3 drops yellow for lemon; 2 drops each of yellow and red for orange; 2 drops yellow and 1 drop red for grapefruit

Special equipment: a candy thermometer

Quarter fruit lengthwise and remove peel (including white pith) in 1 piece from each quarter, reserving fruit for another use.

Cut peel lengthwise into 1/3-inch-wide strips (if using grapefruit, cut peel in half crosswise first). Put peel in a large bowl and cover with cold water, then soak 1 hour. Drain in a colander.

Blanch peel:
Transfer peel to a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot. Add cold water to cover by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, then drain in colander. Repeat blanching process 2 more times. Cover peel once more with cold water and simmer until skin side is tender, about 30 minutes, then drain in colander.

Cook peel in syrup:
Return pot to stovetop and add 6 cups sugar and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Wash down any sugar crystals clinging to side of pot with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Add food coloring (if using) and boil syrup, uncovered and undisturbed, until it registers 220 F on thermometer, about 30 minutes. Add peel and simmer over low heat until translucent, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let peel stand in syrup, uncovered, at room temperature 8 to 12 hours.

Return syrup with peel to a boil and boil, uncovered and undisturbed, until it registers 226 F on thermometer, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let peel stand in syrup, uncovered, at room temperature 8 to 12 hours.

Return syrup to a boil once more and boil, uncovered and undisturbed, until it registers 228 F on thermometer, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let peel stand in syrup, uncovered, at room temperature 8 to 12 hours.

Dry and coat peel:
Reheat syrup with peel over low heat just until syrup has liquefied (peel will have absorbed most of syrup), then drain peel in colander. Immediately spread peel, separating pieces, on 2 metal racks set in 2 shallow baking pans and dry, uncovered, until just barely sticky, 8 to 24 hours.

Spread 1/2 cup of remaining sugar on a plate and roll each piece of peel in sugar to coat well, then transfer to a sheet of wax paper. Add more sugar as needed to coat remaining peel. (Pour sugar through a medium-mesh sieve occasionally to remove bits of peel and clumps of sugar.) Dry sugared peel on wax paper 1 hour.

Cooks' note:
Candied peel keeps, layered between sheets of wax paper, in airtight containers at room temperature 3 months.

Source Gourmet - Subscribe to Gourmet Magazine

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