Sunday, April 3, 2011

Candied Kumquats for Colomba di Pasqua

Inspired by Jenn Erickson of Rook No. 17's post about the Italian Easter bread Colomba di Pasqua, I ordered the bread forms and proceeded to candy some citrus peels.

One of the things I love about Italian cooking: you use what you have. I didn't have any oranges and just dumped the last of my Meyer lemon rinds into the compost bin, so I quartered the remaining kumquats I had and decided that would be just fine.

Take the peel of your citrus and slice into 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.

Look for these in my Colomba di Pasqua in a couple of weeks!

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