From the L.A. Times recipe archive: Candied fruit and citrus peel
Loretta sent me the following urgent request:
Please help -- I bake about 3 times a week for family, friends and neighbors. I especially enjoy using chopped candied orange, lemon and citron citrus peels and yet stores that used to carry these don't anymore. The markets say: Wait for Christmas!
There definitely seems to be a season for candied peel, and candied fruit in general. You can find a great selection around the holidays, and then it all but disappears after the new year as stores rush to fill the shelves with Valentine's candy. Want some out of the season? Often, you're just out of luck.
But it's not hard to make at home. Though it may be a little time-consuming, there is nothing like the flavor of homemade candied peel and fruit. Make a batch and it can last a long time -- the candying process helps to preserve the fruit.
Click below for how-to recipes and tips to candy your own fruit and peels from former Test Kitchen Director Donna Deane.
If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Noelle Carter
Photo credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times
Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes, plus overnight drying
Servings: Makes 1 1/2 cups candied fruit
Note: From Donna Deane
2 California navel oranges
4 cups sugar
1. Bring three 3-quart pots of water to a boil. Use a small knife to score the oranges into quarters (cut through the peel and pith but not through the fruit). Remove the peel; set aside the fruit for another use.
2. Add the peel to the first pot of water and simmer 2 minutes and then drain. Repeat two more times in a new pot of boiling water.
3. Drain the blanched peel on paper towels and pat dry. When cool enough to handle, cut the ends off each piece of peel so that you have straight edges, then cut it crosswise into quarter-inch strips.
4. In a large pot, combine 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes, until clear. Add the cut-up peel to the simple syrup and simmer gently 2 hours until the fruit looks translucent. As the peel is simmering, skim off any foam from the syrup.
5. Lightly oil a cooling rack and place waxed paper underneath. Use a slotted spoon to remove the peel from the syrup and place the strips in a single layer on the rack. Let the candied fruit peel dry overnight.
Each one-fourth cup: 266 calories; 0 protein; 69 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 0 fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 0 sodium.
For candied Meyer lemon peel: Remove and blanch the peel of three Meyer lemons as in the candied orange peel recipe. Cut the peel into strips and simmer in the simple syrup 1 1/2 hours until translucent and glazed, and proceed as in the candied orange peel recipe. Makes about three-fourths cup.
For pink grapefruit: Score two pink grapefruits into sixths and remove the peel and pith from the fruit. Blanch and cut into strips as in the candied orange peel recipe. Simmer the cut grapefruit peel 2 hours in the simple syrup until translucent and glazed, and proceed as in the candied orange recipe. Makes about 3 cups.
For pomelo: Score one pomelo into eighths and remove the peel and pith from the fruit. Blanch and cut as in the orange peel recipe. Simmer the strips of pomelo peel 1 hour in the simple syrup until translucent and glazed, and proceed as in the candied orange peel recipe. Makes about 3 1/4 cups.
For cranberries: Do not blanch the cranberries. Simmer half of a 12-ounce bag of cranberries in the simple syrup for 1 1/2 hours until they are translucent and glazed, and proceed as in the candied orange peel recipe. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.