I’ve never tried to make candied citrus peel, but my parents gave me a ton of lemons, so I went researching. I found tons of info on eGullet (love that site) and a neat recipe for doing a small batch in the microwave. Obviously, you can do this with most citrus peels, and my neighbor suggested that these would be great as a Lemoncello garnish!
There’s more info in the recipe, so go check that out too.
This is easy, although somewhat time consuming (you do a lot of microwaving). I recommend doing it while you’re doing other kitchen chores or cooking.
1. This was a test batch, so I just used 2 lemons. I took the hint on how to remove your peel from the recipe, and it worked really well! Isn’t it nifty looking?
2. I sliced the peel in strips, and also cut out O’s out of the ends.
3. Per the recipe, I placed the strips in a large Pyrex measuring cup, filled to within 2 inches of the top. I microwaved this for 10 minutes.
4. I drained the peels, then added fresh water and micro’d for 10 more minutes. Then repeated the process a third time.
5. I set aside the peels, then rinsed the Pyrex and added 1 1/2 c water and 1 c sugar. [The recipe recommends using at least the 2 quart pyrex for this. Unfortunately I didn’t have one. And yes, it did end up bubbling over at the end steps, so try to find a big enough container.] Micro for 3 minutes.
6. Per the recipe, add the peel to the syrup and microwave for 5 minutes. Stir, return for 5 more. Stir, zap for 5 more minutes. The sugar syrup should be thicker now. (watch for boiling over!) (I added a touch of vanilla extract here too, just for the heck of it)
7. Let the peel cool down for at least 30 minutes. Now microwave again for two 5 minutes sessions. (This was when I had the boiling over issue.)
8. Pick a couple of pieces out of the syrup and drain it on a wire grid until it is cool. If the white part has colored and become translucent, it should be done.
9. Taste it. If it tastes okay, place all the pieces on the drying rack and let it dry until it is just tacky, then toss it in granulated sugar. I found that it dried rather quickly.
10. You’re now ready to toss it in sugar. I found it pretty easy just to put sugar on a plate, and toss a few pieces at a time.
One thing I did differently: I mixed sea salt to taste on my sugar plate prior to tossing. I think the little bit of salt gave it a really interesting flavor.
Good luck and have fun trying this… I can’t wait to see your variations :)