Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sweet as Citrus Candy

 It is citrus season in the Valley of the Sun again. Our neighborhood citrus trees are loaded! In my neighborhood, most of our citrus trees are Valencia Orange. A few blocks away the streets are lined with Rio Blanco grapefruit. There are a few lemon and tangerine trees sprinkled here and there too (all planted many, many years ago). So, it only makes sense to do a little bartering with the neighbors if you want to enjoy the full bounty of the assorted citrus.
A couple of bags of my bartered grapefruit went to a dear neighbor. She called me the other day with a nice surprise! "Come by and take a look at what I'm doing with that grapefruit you gave me!"

She had pulled out her old cookbook, compiled years ago and found the recipe for, "Granny's Candied Orange Peel." 
 Sugaring citrus fruit peelings is a wonderful way to use every part of your citrus. Oranges, lemons and grapefruit will work. The end result is a chewy burst of  sour/sweet flavor!
Here's the recipe.
First, peel and remove section membranes or pith (white material) from citrus and discard. Cut into 1/4 inch strips. Measure the peel. Bring to boil sugar equal to the volume of peel and half the quantity of water. ( I think granny was smarter that me, because I had to think about that for just a moment!)

Add peel to sugar syrup and simmer to 230 degrees or until the peel is translucent and moist. Remove with a slotted spoon and spread on platter to cool. Roll in a bowl of granulated sugar before they are too dry.
 You could dip them in chocolate!
Or use them as a garnish, or in fruit cake, or just when you need a bit of sweetness!
Looks good huh? I like the ones rolled in sugar. Kind of crunchy on the outside and sweet on the inside. Perfect for a gift of delectable, citrusy sweetness, just like Granny used to make!
Special thanks to Patricia for sharing her kitchen and wisdom with me!

Here's an excellent post if you need more details on making candied citrus peels!

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