This is a method for citrus peel candy that works FOR ME. This is not a professional method, it has flaws, it is not “perfect”, but it works for me (hence my “mine”). It provides the kind of candied peels I like: still juicy and fruity, with a slight bitterness in the background, not too sweet.
The following should be seen as working notes, drawn from experience and versions of other cooks.
I have no “culinary scientific proof” for some of the things I say – you decide, whether they make sense to you or not.
The husks should be thoroughly rinsed first of course.
first of all me Collect the shells For days (unless I decide to sweeten slices or whole fruits, as in whole mandarins).
Each time I juice oranges / lemons / grapefruits, I quarter the two halves and scrape a little of the remaining dough, using spoons. When I eat them, I quarter the fruit and remove the meat with a sharp knife: this will of course give you a cleaner finish. In both situations, I freeze the shells. This allows me to build up my inventory gradually, instead of using many fruits at once: it is also a recommended step for actual candy because it helps to break down the structure of the peel and thus causes it to absorb the sugar more efficiently. .
If you want to try and sweeten whole tangerines, freeze them too.
When I make sliced fruit candy, I do not freeze the slices (there is no logic here: I must actually try)
You can now proceed to To remove excess bitterness from the peels. One has two options:
1. Soak the shells in cold water for seven to ten days, changing the water twice a day. It might give you the best texture at the end, with shells that are still pleasantly solid. I decide when to stop soaking by tasting the peels, after five days: if I am satisfied with the bitterness leftovers I proceed to the next step. If it is still too strong, I continue with soaking.
This method works wonderfully with oranges, tangerines (whole or halved) and grapefruit. Lemon and etrog may be too bitter for you, even after ten days.
You can soak the frozen fruit.
2. Boil the peels. It has the advantage of being faster and removing bitterness more thoroughly. It works especially well with lemons and citrons. The final candied bark will be a little softer and some sources say less fragrant. Care should be taken not to overcook the peels, otherwise they become chewy.
This is what I do: I put the shells in a pot and cover them with cold water. I bring them slowly to a boil, draining and refreshing them thoroughly under running water. I repeat this twice. The water must not boil in anger because you want to preserve a certain bite in the fruit.
I then leave them to drain on a cloth and I move on to the next step.
You will need to thaw the fruit in cold water before cooking it this way.
Sweeten the fruit
Weights the fruit. It weighs three times its weight in granulated sugar and three times its weight in water.
For example: if you have 100 grams of shells, you want 300 grams of water and 300 grams of sugar (this is a tip from the good blog Trattoria Da Martina). This will allow you to get a lot of syrup, which is essential for the process. I also used a lower ratio sometimes (1: 2: 2) and it worked too. I would suggest you go for the higher ratio for the first time. To understand the process.
Use a pot in the room and mix water and sugar. Bring to a boil while whisking occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Add the peels and turn off the heat from now on, the fruit should be immersed All the time in this heavy syrup. Find some object that pushes and keeps the fruit down or that’s the route I took recently (I did not find a suitable object), I just push the peels down in the syrup every time I jump into the kitchen, i.e. many times a day.
Leave the fruit in the syrup for 24 hours, uncovered.
Remove it with a spider into a colander, placed in / over a bowl. Bring the syrup to a strong boil, add the syrup that has meanwhile dripped a rainbow and boil vigorously for 30 seconds. Carefully add the fruit and turn off. Let the fruit rest in the syrup for another 24 hours, uncovered.
Repeat this for five days. Then start tasting. Is the fruit already sweet enough for you or do you want it sweeter? Continue the process until you are satisfied with the level of sweetness. If, at some point, the syrup is not enough, you will have to prepare more: this has never happened to me. If so, I would add a very heavy syrup, maybe one part water and 1.5 parts sugar (it makes no sense). I store my candied peels in the freezer, not at room temperature, so I don’t particularly care about full candy: I still want to be able to taste the fruit. If you want to store them at room temperature, make sure that the wick is completely transparent, ie full of sugar (supposedly – the sugar is used as a preservative).
Strain the fruit on a rack, placed on a tray. Allow the shells to dry for 24 hours. Then, store them in the refrigerator or, for longer periods, in the freezer. I stored them in both and never had a problem, but I am not a conservation expert.
I have never so far been able to find a good use for the remaining syrup: some sources claim it is good to drip on cakes or drinks, but I never liked it, when I tried: I throw it away.
Notes, if you want to make the glorious Italian mustard, the hot candied fruit and mustard that Italians love with cooked meat and sausages, you will need to add some mustard extract to the sweet syrup, right at the end, then preserve the fruit. This syrup. I never made it, but I think it’s worth mentioning.
Nato fuorimilano, lungamente a Londra, ora in Sempione (Mi). 2013 update: ritornato in the UK. Aperto un ristorante a Lyme Regio, nel Dorset Update 2015: venduto il ristorante e tornato a Londra … ora bisogna re / inventarsi … Il mio blog in italiano è: www.qbbq.wordpress.com (qbbq = Quanto Basta Basta Quanto) il mio blog / mini sito in English è: www.italianhomecooking.co.uk —————— I was born just outside Milan, so I lived in London, now back in Milan. Update 2013: I returned to the UK, we bought a restaurant in Lime Regis, Dorst Update 2015: More in London: We sold the restaurant and now it’s time to reinvent ourselves ….. Let’s see what happens … My blog in Italian is: www.qbbq .wordpress.com My blog in English is: www.italianhomecooking.co.uk
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