Not many recipes call for things like candied orange and lemon peel until you get to a holiday season. Or you live on a different continent. I have never seen candied peels in any of our grocery stores. Now I haven't really looked hard, but a friend from England tells me they are readily available there for things like Christmas puddings and such. I happen to need them for a German Stollen. Fortunately these little dainties are fairly easy to make at home. And by doing it that way, I save money and can be assured that the organic fruits I choose are not saturated with pesticide residue. After seeing how well they turned out, I may need to make some specifically to dip in chocolate. Yum! I am borrowing this method from Wild Yeast. I simmered mine just a bit longer, but otherwise, it is exactly her directions. I recommend the organic citrus because of the pesticide load on conventionally raised citrus. Bagged organic lemons are relatively inexpensive, as are the oranges when you can find them pre-bagged.
Make these the day before you need them.
Candied Citrus Peels
makes about 350g (~12 oz) candied peel and 2½ cups syrup
10 medium organic lemons (I used 12 small lemons and 3 large navel oranges in separate batches. Next time I would use 4. Good stuff.)
water for blanching
3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1. Score the fruit in quarters. Peel, leaving the fruit whole.
(I'll be making lemon curd with these later!)
2. In a large saucepan, cover the peels with cold water. Bring to a boil, drain, and rinse the peels in cold water.
3. Cut the peels into strips (about four strips per quarter-lemon section).
4. Blanch the peel strips twice more.
5. In the large saucepan, combine the sugar and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Here are my oranges on their final sugar simmer, and the lemons on their first blanch.
6. Add the lemon peels (make sure you lower them into the syrup; if you drop them in and the hot syrup splashes on your skin, you will be very sad). Reduce the heat and simmer until the peels are starting to become translucent, about an hour.
7. Drain the peels, reserving the syrup.
8. Place the peels in a single layer on a wire rack and allow to dry overnight.
9. Store in an airtight container, or in the freezer. Store the syrup in the refrigerator.
Now I need to find a use for these two awesome jars of citrus infused syrup...