Don’t think “fruit cake” when you think of candied citrus – these candies are SO much more sophisticated than that! I use this recipe to prepare my own candied citrus to be used in panettone, as an ingredient in biscotti, and even as a special addition to oatmeals, cookies, or as garnish during the winter months. Best of all, candied citrus is easy to prepare and prevents dedicated cooks from purchasing the hard-as-rocks version that can be purchased at specialty purveyors.
- 4 cups unbleached sugar
- 2.5 cups water
- the zest (peel) from 4 grapefruits, 6 oranges, or 8 lemons, or a combination of all three
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar (or sugar that has been pulsed in a food processor)
- Bring the water and sugar to boil in a small/medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook until all the sugar has been dissolved. Set the simple syrup aside.
- Take the peel from the citrus fruits and slice it into strips, about 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch long. In a medium saucepan cover the peel strips with water and bring to a boil. Once a boil is achieved, drain the water completely, blanching the peel. Repeat 2 more times.
- In the same medium saucepan, combine the blanched peels with the simple syrup. Bring the syrup + citrus to boil, then lower the heat to simmer and continue to cook until the peel is translucent and tender to the bite (roughly 20 minutes.)
- Remove the pot from the heat and drain off any remaining syrup. Transfer the peel to a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet to cool, separating the chunks of peel so that they will dry and cool as individual slices. When the peels are cooler, but still sticky, toss the citrus in sugar to candy. Return to the cooling rack to dry/cool completely. Store in an airtight container.