# 002

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Candied Citrus Peels! I'm not really sure what prompted me to start this project, other than maybe the overabundance of grapefruits in my basement. I like citrus fruit, don't get me wrong, but I can't eat a grapefruit for breakfast everyday. I needed something else to do with them!

The first step to this whole process (and believe me, it was a process) was to peel the grapefruits. The grapefruit on the left was actually done the Martha way; I scored the skin into sections, peeled the sections off with my fingers, then cut them into smaller pieces, and removed the majority of the pith with a knife. I did two grapefruit this way and it was a huge pain in the ass. So for the third one, I got out my trusty fruit & veggie peeler. The peels were much less uniform, but the step went so much quicker.

Boiling the peels in water, two times... to get rid of some of the bitterness, I suppose?

Martha, was your daughter neglected as a child? Some of this stuff you do takes massive amounts of time... I had to let my son completely empty the contents of my pantry and strew everything around the kitchen floor to get this done!

Then we boil the peels in a simple syrup for an hour. I used this time to put everything back in my pantry, minus one jar of grape jelly, which was Ben's friend for the rest of the day (and miraculously didn't get broken!).

After they have enjoyed their sugary hot tub for long enough, they get laid out on racks to dry. Or in my case, just one rack. I have plently of these things, but didn't want to have to try to scrub hardened sugar off of more than one of them. Martha would probably be pissed at me... I'm sure that she has a room of racks that are devoted only to drying her candied citrus peels... and minions to come in and wash them afterwards. Not me though, I just crammed them all on to one rack (with some butcher's paper underneath, to protect my counter).

Once they're dry, shake them up with some sugar... and then try to figure out what you're going to do with them. Martha nicely provides some gift packaging ideas on her website, but I wouldn't give these to anyone unless you were positive that they would really like them. They're too much of a pain in the butt to risk someone just throwing them away. I actually wound up eating most of mine... they got better after a couple days in the fridge (where they will keep for up to 2 weeks).



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