It's holiday baking time and here is where I begin my OCD baking! In the beginning of December, I get started so I can bake throughout the entire month. During our visit to France, I saw these candied citrus peels in store windows and fell in love with them. They are time consuming to make, so it's kind of precious to receive. You can also dip them in chocolate as well.
I like this recipe because it can be made in two parts or two days. On day one, you can prepare the peels, and on day two sugar them. For some reason it doesn't seem like so much work to me if I can split up the time.
8 – 10 oranges (I hand pick theses looking for beautiful rinds)
10 – 12 lemons
If I do a batch of oranges and a batch of lemons, I do them separately so the flavors do not co-mingle.
6 cups of sugar
Part One: Prepare the Peels
Cut the top (stem) and bottom ends off the citrus. Then, cut in half. Scrape out the pulp and set aside. Place the peels in a large pot and cover with water so they can move around freely. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the water.
Once peels are cool, scrape the pith out with a spoon. We have tried many techniques to see what works best, but we find a regular old teaspoon, pulling towards you. This is the most time consuming and difficult part. So get some wine and sit down to do this. Cut into 3/8" strips and set aside.
Prepare the syrup. This syrup is a 2:1 ratio, 6 cups of sugar to 3 cups of water. Bring syrup to a boil in a large pot. Once the sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to medium. Add the peels and cook for 45 minutes. When done, turn off heat and cover with lid, let rest overnight.
Part Two: Sugaring
Remove the peels from the pot with a slotted spoon. Using your fingers like a squeegee, squeeze off any extra syrup. Roll in sugar. If sugar gets too clumpy or wet, run it through a sifter. Let the peels air dry on cooling racks for a few hours. Place in air tight container, these keep for about a month.