candied citrus questions
- pitu Feb 1, 2007 10:12 AM
two things . . .
do you blanch your rind before simmering it in sugar water? I never have, but I just read it in Lebovitz's book. I don't usually do more bitter peels, so *not* doing it has not been a problem.
Am I saving time or missing a crucial step?
what do you do with all your candied citrus peel?
I don't make many desserts so usually just eat the candied peels as a treat.
(They are awesomely sweet, fresh, and bitey on a long car trip.)
make that three . . .
I'm thinking about cocktails to make with the syrup left from orange and kumquat peels
I've always blanched 3-4 times - per the recipes I've had - you actually boil about 20 minutes each time, starting w/ cold water.
I used to make candied grapefruit peel every Christmas to send to my grandmother, but since she's died I don't make it much anymore. I do love it though and have used the syrup in cocktails.
I've always blanched my citrus peel before candying, three times for lemon, orange, mandarin, etc. and more like five times for grapefruit.
In the blanching process, I bring the juiced "cups" up each time to a boil (from fresh, cold water) and then drain. On the last blanching (either the third or fifth time, depending) I let the cups simmer until tender enough to be pierced easily by a small knife.
Haven't looked at DL recipe in a while, but most of his methods are pretty reliable.
Also, the blanching process, and subsequent cooking until tender, helps to insure a tender final product. Just make sure the sugar syrup stage stays at a low, slow simmer throughout.
*Sometimes grapefruit peel has more water in the rind, if it tastes waterey to you at the end of the candying stage you can turn up the heat for a few minutes to evaporate a little of the water. Then dry overnight on a rack before sugaring.
DL uses juiced fruits cut in half, and one long boil - except grapefruit and pomelo, which require four. Cut the halves in half, remove the pith, cut in strips and do the sugar boil. I'll have to try it that way next time. And he suggests adding corn syrup to the sugar solution. shocking....
I blythly sliced up my kumquats, cut out the innards, sugar boiled the lovely little rings
But they are super tender to start with.
I peeled strips of zest with a paring knife off the tangelos, and direct sugar boiled them as well
And used some star anise-infused sugar for the outside dusting on some of them.
What do you use the candied zests for? I'm thinking I'll make some custard pot or something to put them on...
I candy whatever, but I usually have organic fruit. I started this thread 'cause I'm tired of throwing all those peels away!
I ate a bit of candied tangelo rind this morning . . .
it tasted like those gel "orange slice" candies, but real.
(made with no blanching, but I wash the fruit in hot water if it might be waxed)
re: racer x
Wow, old post!
I feel it's pretty important to remove some of the inner pulp and pith before cutting into strips and candieing.
I take the blanched cups (see above) and once cool, scoop out the pulp and pith with a teaspoon. You don't want to remove too much, or you'll have a thin, dry finished product.
There's more to scoop with grapefruit peel, and less with thin mandarins. Lemon can be dry if you scoop too much too.
Candied peel is easy to do, and just as easy to mess up.
Trial and error, and ask lots of questions.
Made some candied grapefruit peels last night (or at least started them).
Found a recipe online that doesn't require removal of all of the pith.
Harvested peels and cut or pulled off only the thicker bits of pith adhering to the undersides of some of the peels.
Blanched peels 4 times, then simmered in syrup 2 hours. Allowed to cool to room temp. Put peels with syrup in refrigerator to finish up later.
When I tasted the peels just before refrigerating them, they were sweet and mildly citrusy, but still a tad too bitter.
re: racer x
Grapefruit peels are, in my opinion, the most bitter of the citrus except maybe for Seville oranges. I don't work with grapefruit anymore because my husband is on meds that are adversely affected by it. But of the citrus, grapefruit was the one that I would remove a bit of the pith from but not all.
A bit off topic, but I've been nibbling on a few bits of the candied grapefruit peels in syrup every few days. (Never bothered to dry them out and dust them with granulated sugar.) Despite the slight bitterness, they are kind of addictive.
When I eat them it creates strange sensations in my mouth. I've been trying to think of the way to describe the sensation, and it only occurred to me today that it is very similar to the numbing sensation (麻 I think) of Sichuan peppercorns.
So you get sweet, sour, bitter, and numbing with these treats, along with the citrus aroma and flavors. The tingling of the tastebuds lasts for many minutes after a bite.
I don't remove pith either. It's half the flavor. Blanch 2 or 3 times then simmer in the syrup.
I like the flavor for munching and, for me, they're essential in cannoli filling and holiday breads. They're also really good dipped in chocolate -- not only do the chocolate, fruit and slight bitterness complement one another beautifully but the glistening color of the fruit is simply gorgeous contrasted with the dark gloss of chocolate.