You can use the same technique to make candied
lemon or orange peel. The technique for candied
grapefruit peel is slightly different (as detailed
below) because more pith—the bitter white layer
between the outer peel and the flesh of citrus
fruit—must be removed.
8 oranges, or 10 lemons, or 6 grapefruits
6 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
Cut the ends off each piece of fruit, and cut the
fruit in half lengthwise. Insert the tip of a knife carefully
between fruit and pith about 1/2 inch deep, turn
the fruit on the other end, and repeat, following the
shape of fruit and keeping the skin in one piece.
Using your fingers, gently pull the fruit away. Reserve
the fruit for another use.
Place the citrus peel in a 6-quart pot; fill with
enough cold water to cover, about 3 quarts. Place
over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer
20 minutes. Drain the citrus peel; soak in cold
water until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.
Using a melon baller, scrape the soft white pith
from the peel, being careful not to tear or cut into
the skin. If you’re making candied grapefruit, after
scraping the pith from the peel, simmer the peel for
20 minutes more, and repeat the technique to remove
the remaining pith.
Slice each piece of peel into thin strips lengthwise,
about 1/4 inch wide if garnishing a cake or ÿ
inch wide if rolling in sugar.
Place 6 cups sugar in a saucepan with 3 cups
water; stir to combine. Place the pan over medium
heat, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar has
dissolved and the syrup comes to a boil, about 8
minutes. Add the citrus strips to the boiling syrup;
reduce heat to medium-low. Using a pastry brush
dipped in cold water, wash down any sugar crystals
that form on the sides of the pan. Simmer the strips
until they become translucent and the sugar syrup
thickens, about 40 minutes. Allow the strips to cool
in the syrup for 3 hours or overnight. When they
have cooled, proceed to step 7, or store the strips in
the syrup in an airtight container, refrigerated, for
up to 3 weeks.
When cool, remove the strips with a slotted
spoon. Using your fingers, wipe off the excess syrup;
roll the strips in sugar. Dry on wire racks.
There are two variations of this method. In the
first, use a vegetable peeler to remove only the outer
skin from the fruit, and skip the first 5 steps. Slice the
peels to the desired width, simmer in sugar syrup as
in step 6, then follow the remaining step. This technique
produces thin, translucent peels that make
great garnishes for ice cream and cakes. The second
variation results in wider, more opaque peels: After
the outer skin has been removed from the fruit, slice
the skin into strips of the desired thickness. Place the
strips in the pan of boiling water for 1 minute, drain,
and place in sugar syrup as in step 6; follow the remaining