Candied Grapefruit Peel
You can use the finished candies as sweetmeats, dipped in chocolate or not, or use them in your own fruitcake recipe. It's extra work, but well worth it. Use organic fruit with thick peel to avoid unwanted dyes or pesticides and to ensure a plump, soft candy. Ruby grapefruit will give you pinkish-coloured candies while the white grapefruit will give you pale yellow ones. This recipe comes from Deborah Madison's The Savory Way
3 organic grapefruits
2 1/2 c. berry sugar
1 1/4 c. water
2 T. light corn syrup (look for Best Food's Lily White brand)
Additional berry sugar for coating
Equipment: 2-quart non-reactive saucepan, cake rack and baking sheet.
Score the grapefruits into quarters and carefully pull away the peel. Place the peel in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 25 minutes. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the peels from the water and allow to cool until you can safely handle them. Hold the peel on the counter and scrape away as much of the white pith as possible. Cut the scraped rinds into narrow strips, ¼ to ½-inch wide.
Stir together the berry sugar, water and corn syrup in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil until the syrup is clear (this should just take a few minutes). Add the peel, turn the heat to low, and cook slowly until the fruit is translucent, about 1 hour.
Remove the peels a few at a time from the pan and spread them on the cake rack set over the baking sheet to catch drips. If you're using the peels for baking, let them dry on the rack, then put them in a plastic container or jar, cover and refrigerate.
If you plan to eat them as candy, drain the peel for a minute, then lightly toss in additional berry sugar and set them on a clean rack to dry. Do this in several batches. They will need to dry for about an hour or so, then carefully packaged in a container and stored for several weeks in a cool, dark cupboard or several months in the refrigerator.
Orange and Lemon Peel Variation
5 to 6 organic oranges or 6 large organic lemons. Follow the instructions for candied grapefruit, adjusting to a shorter cooking time if the peel is thinner.