24 December 2010

A Peal for Peel with Appeal

In the event that someone gives you a box of grapefruit for Christmas, think about saving the rinds. Candied grapefruit rind, or peel, is easy to make, and kind of wonderful. It's like turning a sow's ear into a silk purse, trash to treasure.

I had some supermarket grapefruits earlier in the month - after I'd eaten a half for breakfast, I tucked the shell into the fridge in a plastic bag. Once I had four halves, I was ready to go. Basically, you boil the quartered rinds in plain water, twice, to reduce the bitterness and soften up the peel. Then you boil them again in a simple syrup (half sugar, half water). Finally, you cut the quarters into strips, let them dry overnight, and toss them in sugar. I use the recipe from The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook, though I tend to cut my strips fatter than 1/8" - mine end up more like grapefruit gumdrop batons (thinner strips would be drier and chewier). Also, I find they work better if you cut the strips before drying them overnight.

If you're energetic, and in need of little house presents for all the holiday parties you're traipsing off to, you bag them up and hand them out.

If you're really energetic, you can dip them in chocolate, but I prefer my fruit straight up.

And if you're a little bit crazy, you save the excess sugar that you tossed the peel in because you hate to waste it and you use it in shortbread.

Happy cooking!


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It is quite impressive how you use everything and waste nothing--you are your mother's daughter it seems, no?

Antropologa said...

I made for Xmas last year chocolate-covered orange rinds, similar to this. AWESOME.

FreshHell said...

I used to make candied orange peels way back in the day. It's a lot of work. Worth it if you have the time but I rarely do anymore. If someone gives me a grapefruit for Xmas, I might send it to you. :)

Anonymous said...

I made my own candied peels once for a recipe, and have never forgotten how delicious they were. I bought myself a little juicer for Christmas this year, so there will definitely be citrus rinds in my future.

abby said...

I've made these before too, with added orange and lemon peels. Though your recipe looks better - thank you! I used the candies for a simple cake topping, but I love the idea of gifting them.

Happy holidays and New Year to you!

well read hostess said...

I'm going to do this. It sounds wonderful. And I'm going to try the chocolate kind, too, because, well. chocolate.