Sunday, January 17, 2010

Candied Minneola Peel

I must admit that the first time I attempted to candy citrus peels, it could be classified as a disaster, at best.

I had tried to follow a recipe and even measured the ingredients which is a rarity for me. The result: glossy, gorgeous, deep amber shards, harder than toffee, that were guaranteed to crack a filling or two.

But as I tell my boys, if at first you don't succeed, give it another whirl. So, I read several different recipes and used the portions of the recipes that made sense...and didn't measure at all.

The result: success...and the perfect topping for my torta di cioccolata.

Basic procedure, or rather, what worked for me: take the peel of your citrus and slice into thin pieces. Place them in a pot, covered with cold water, bring them to a boil. As soon as they boil, remove from heat and drain. Repeat two more times.

Place sugar and water in a pot to make a syrup, using more water than you think you'd need, because you are going to simmer it down. As it starts to thicken, place the blanched peels in the syrup and simmer till the peels become translucent. For me, that took almost 90 minutes.

Let the peel cool, completed in the syrup. Remove the peels from the syrup and place them on a piece of parchment paper, letting the excess syrup run off. Then roll the candied skins in granulated sugar. With the first roll, the sugar will absorb the syrup and your peels will still be fairly vibrant. Roll them in sugar again to get that frosted look. Use as a garnish or chopped into recipes that require candied citrus.

Added bonus - Reserve the syrup for cocktails. Or add a splash to some sparkling wine for a mimosa-esque treat.

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