Each year around the holidays, my mother-in-law makes a big batch of gorgeous candied grapefruit peels. And I lose all restraint.
I challenge myself when passing her kitchen not to dip my hand into the tin and fish out a few sugar-crusted peels to pop in my mouth. I literally each handfuls of the stuff. I love the bitter citrus flavor, tempered by the preserving process and a generous coating of sugar.
This year, I gave it a shot myself. So I could start eating copious amounts of grapefruit peels even earlier. I combined her recipe with this Jacques Torres version.
They make a great gift and a perfect cocktail garnish (try a negroni or pop one into a glass of sparkling wine).
Candied Grapefruit Peel
4 large grapefruits with thick skin
3 cups of sugar, plus more for coating
Cut the grapefruits into quarters, lengthwise from pole to pole. Remove the segments from the peel, leaving the white pith attached to the peel. Reserve the fruit for juice or another use.
To make it easier to cut neat slices, cut the tips of the quarters off (see above) and cut peel into 1/2-inch slices.
In a large pot, add the peel slices and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Drain and repeat the process of boiling the peels two more times with fresh cold water. On the fourth time, add the 3 cups of sugar to the fresh water, bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, maintaining some small bubbling, for 1.5 hours.
Drain the peels and lay them out on a wire rack, placed on wax paper. Let the peels drain for about 3 hours and up to overnight. Toss in the peels in a bowl of sugar to coat. Enjoy!
* If the peels are still very wet after letting them drain, you can dry them out in an oven set to 200 degrees for 30 minutes to an hour.
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