I love fresh squeezed juice. It's one of Sunday's little pleasures. Sure, I could make it anytime I want to but I never do. I always feel too rushed during the week. But Sunday is perfect. It's a day of fresh squeezed juice, pancakes made from scratch and, if it's warm enough, an afternoon spent in Dolores Park.
But every time I make it, I am a bit annoyed by all the left over peels. In fact, I feel this way anytime I eat or use citrus fruit in a recipe. And one can only add so much citrus to their worm composting bin, ya know? Sure, the city composts too but it still feels wasteful. Especially since it takes quite a few grapefruits to fill up a glass. Even more so if you are making orange juice!
As I mentioned last time, this country wastes too much food so I am always looking for ways to eat what is usually discarded. And while I haven't gone full-on freegan (or even tried it), candying citrus peels seems like a reasonable compromise. Right?
Here is what you will need:
- 4 grapefruits
- Water, to cover peels
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup sugar, for coating
1. After you use the citrus fruit, whether it be by juicing or something else, you'll need to scrape out all remaining fruit with a spoon. You don't have to get all Type A about it. Some can be left behind.
2. Then you want to cut the peels into strips. Of course, this depends on how you plan to use the candy. If you are going to use it as a garnish, julienning the peels is probably best. But if you are going to put them in a candy dish or mix them in with your granola, you might want to cube them. If you are going to eat them off of your partner during some sexy fun time, maybe slice them into rings?
3. Add the peels to medium sauce pot and cover them with about 1-inch of water. They're going to float so you need to push them down in the pot to ensure you have enough water.
4. Transfer them to the stove and bring them to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once the water is boiling, strain the peels. I love this part, the whole house starts to smell like warm citrus. It's a bit intoxicating.
5. Repeat step four at least three more times using fresh water every time. This is to remove some of the bitterness in the pith. If you like orange marmalade, doing this four times should be enough. If you aren't a fan of bitter, you can do it two more times.
6. For our fifth boil, you are going to add the two cups of sugar along with the water. Bring it to a boil and then reduce it to a low simmer. Cook the peels for two hours. If the water starts to cook down too fast, just add a bit more.
7. Remove the candied peels from the stove. They should be Gummi Bear-like and the sugar and water mixture will be syrupy. If you want eat these immediately, place the candied peels on a drying rack and let them firm up. Do this for a few hours. Or you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week until you are ready to use them.
8. Once the peels have cooled and firmed, place one cup of sugar in a shallow bowl and roll them in it. You can mix this up too. Mix in a tablespoon of dried ground ginger with the peels to add a bit of spice. Clove would also work.