(With apologies to William Carlos Williams)
I have candied
that were in
you were probably
they were not keeping
Here we are at last—the big day. We’ve looked at sectioning citrus, and zesting citrus, and making luscious citrus syrup. Now, finally, we’re ready to candy all those peels that we’ve saved (well, not the ones that we zested, but stick around and I’ll even show you a bonus way to use those—tomorrow).
Candied citrus peels are one of my favorite holiday confections (and quite popular among my list of recipients). There are a lot of steps involved, but as candy making goes, they’re relatively easy—you don’t even need a candy thermometer. I use the recipe found in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, with only very minor alteration.
The hardest part is saving enough to give as gifts!
So, let’s see… So far, we’ve looked at a way to enjoy citrus fruit, and a way to enjoy citrus zest. How about citrus juice? (After all, we’ll want more peels for candying, since we zested some.) Of course, fresh-squeezed orange (or grapefruit) juice does not need any special destination (other than my belly). But, with seasonal festivities ahead, this is another way to enjoy it that also makes a good gift idea, or a welcome addition to a holiday breakfast.
Well, yesterday I promised that we would take a closer look at those citrus peels, and so we will. But not in the way you might have guessed, just yet. I have citrus quite often in the winter, and I don’t always feel like going through the process of candying all of it. But that doesn’t mean that the peels need go to waste. I zest any and all (lemon, lime, grapefruit, you name it) citrus peels that I’m not otherwise using. If I’ve no immediate need for them, I pack them into the freezer. Properly prepared, zest will keep beautifully in the freezer, retaining all of its flavor and color, and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
And I use it in all sorts of things— sauces, breads, cookies, dips—if you like citrus flavors, you will find endless ways to enjoy having zest always on hand.
Welcome to Citrus Week here at Month of Sundries (otherwise known as: Five Ways to Make Your Kitchen Smell Awesome). I almost always make candied orange and grapefruit peels to give as gifts this time of year, and—as you will soon see—there are a lot of interrelated activities that can go with that. First of all, before you even get to the peels, there are the (oh, so tasty) insides to deal with. This can mean scooping out the fruits or squeezing them for juice. Today, we’re all about the scooping.
There are lots of ways that one might use the citrus, once it’s been scooped out (or sectioned)—tarts, salads, salsas, or even adding a fruity kick to a savory main course. But my favorite way to enjoy it is as a simple but delicious fruit cocktail—just stirred up with its own juice and a little sugar.
Scooped citrus is something that I associate especially with holiday breakfasts, but I often make it during the winter months. There’s something wonderfully decadent about enjoying citrus that has already had all the work done, even if I was the one who did all the work!