A faster way to candy citrus fruit peels
ingredients for a jar of candied peels (total cost about 1,5€ with organic sugars)
- 500 g peels from organic citrus fruit (weighed after blanching and straining them)
- 500 g water
- 250 g sugar
- Extra sugar for coating (optional)
After our long version for making candied citrus fruit peels (you will find it HERE), today we propose a faster way, for those who do not have the time or patience to follow the multiple day procedure.
So, after we cut the peels in stripes, we soak them in plenty of water for a few hours to soften a little, changing the water 2-3 times. Then, we place the peels in a saucepan, we cover them with water, we bring to a boil and we let them boil for 3 minutes. We strain and rinse them under plenty of running water, in order to stop the boiling of the skins. We repeat this process at least 2-3 more times (with fresh water each time). They may even need a fourth, depending on their initial bitterness. In the end, we should try one rind to check if it is still bitter. If so, we repeat blanching, until we remove all of the bitterness. If we are making peels of citrus fruits that have a thick white part, such as grapefruit or citron, we should blanch them for a little longer period each time, about 5 minutes, instead of just 3.
Meanwhile, we weigh the blanched and strained peels and we measure equal weight of water and half weight of sugar to prepare a 50% syrup. If we want the candied peels to last longer we make a 100%, syrup.
As soon as the syrup reaches the boiling point, we add the strained peels and we continue cooking gently over medium heat without boiling, until much of the syrup is absorbed by the peels. Depending on the type of peels we are candying, the required time varies. For example orange peels should take about 30 minutes more or less, while citrons maybe even an hour. We know that they are ready, when they have become shiny and their white part almost transparent.
When our peels are ready, we can either store them submerged in their syrup in sterilized jars, or we can dry them. To do so, we remove them from the pot and place them side by side on the wire racks of the dehydrator (or the oven), covered with double baking paper (so that syrup does not drip).
We put them to dry at 60 o C for a couple of hours or maybe more. In the end, most of moisture will have been gone, but they should remain relatively soft and flexible. We do not want them to harden, just to dry off. If we do not have a dehydrator, we can use our oven, at its lowest temperature setting, or simply leave them at room temperature, until the next day.
Once they are deprived of their moisture, we can either keep them as they are (natural), transferring them in a jar and storing them in the fridge, or we can sugar them. Sugaring the peels prolongs even more their life time. We place the dry peels into a plate with sugar and turn them over all sides to cover. The sugar after a few hours will melt. It will be absorbed by the skins and will not be annoying at biting.
We can consume the candied peels as they are, we can chop them into dice or we can cut them into jullienne stripes in order to use them into various preparations, or to decorate our pastries. We can also deep them in chocolate for spectacular, super tasty mini treats.