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Friday, November 12, 2010

Candied Grapefruit, Pomelos, Sweeties, and Other Citrus.

"Daddy, we made candy grapefruit and it's all sugary. Mommy said it's for a present."
-Exact quote from Lee this afternoon while talking to Mike on the phone.

Y'all must remember that time when I told you about using watermelon rind in place of pumpkin when I shared my watermelon rind seitan curry recipe. I don't like paying for a fruit and then throwing out a large percentage of it. I try to save every last bit of foods I buy, from eating vegetable scraps to rendering chicken fat from chicken scraps.
It should come as no surprise to you then, that I was trying to find things to do with citrus peels, as I don't like throwing out anything edible (no, chemicals are not edible in my book). Citrus fruit all come with peels, but some in particular have really thick rinds and pith, like sweeties (also known as oroblancos), pomelos, and grapefruits, making you really conscious of how much of that citrus fruit ends in the trash.



Sweeties/oroblancos  at the left.  Note the thickness of the skin! Pomelos to the right- again, really thick skin.


Grapefruits, at the left, have a slightly thinner peel but still thicker than a tangerine, shown at the right.

A few days ago, I shared a recipe to make orange cleaner with these citrus peels. Today, I teach you to eat them.


Candied Grapefruit, Pomelos and Sweeties


Ingredients:
Citrus peels, pith and all
Water
Sugar

Instructions
1. Peel your grapefruits, pomelos, and sweeties as you usually would.
2. Cut up the peels into thin strips. Whatever size you cut the strips is the shape that your candied citrus will be, so keep aesthetics in mind while doing so.
3. Cover your peels with water and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. This water will be very bitter. Pour it off. (Reserve for later use. See below.)
4. Fill up your pot with water again, and repeat. The water will be bitter still.
5. Repeat step 3 until the water you're pouring out is no longer bitter. You may want to use a potato masher to squeeze as much of the bitter liquid out of the citrus peels as possible. I ended up doing the third step 4 or 5 times for my mixture of grapefruits and sweeties.
6. Make a sugar syrup of 2 1/4 cups of sugar with 1 1/2 cups of water. To do so, mix this on a medium heat until all the sugar dissolves.
7. Add the citrus peels to the sugar syrup, bring to a boil, and then simmer on a medium/low flame for an hour or more until the peels have absorbed the sweet taste and most of the water has evaporated from the syrup.
8. Pour the syrup and peels into a colander, collecting the syrup and straining out the peels. (Reserve the syrup for later use. See below.)
9. Dry the citrus peels. You can first coat them in sugar if you'd like. I found the easiest way to do this was by filling a bag with sugar, adding the peels and air, shaking it around like you would a shake and bake, and then remove the individual peels, one at a time to dry. It is best to dry these on a rack, but if you don't have one, a cookie tray covered with parchment paper will work fine, so long as you turn them over periodically until they dry.
10. When the candied peels are no longer wet and sticky, serve them. Enjoy!

You can also coat these in chocolate if you'd like.

The reserved liquid can be used to dilute your orange cleaner, mop your floor, or water your garden.
The syrup can be used to sweeten lemonade or other drinks.
This can be made with all citrus fruit, including citrons, oranges, clementines, tangerines, tangelos, or any other.

We're giving these candied citrus peels to relatives for the holidays. :-D

Have you ever made candied citrus fruit? What type? What do you usually do with your citrus peels? Would you ever make this recipe?


Part of Friday Foods, Vegetarian Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday, and Frugal Friday .

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