One of the decoration ideas I had during the execution of the lemon marscapone
cream cake was to top it with curled slivers of candied orange peels – however at the end of the night, when we were ready to make them we found out that they take at least 24 hours to dry enough not to be tacky so we passed on them. But seeing as I had a ridiculous amount of citrus set aside in my fridge just for this venture (the recipe makes 1 pound), I decided to alter my plans a bit and make candied citrus slices instead. So I bought a bunch of grapefruit – which have been very ripe lately, lemons and limes so I could just have them on hand for any future cake making or general baking… I might even try some slices or quarters of lemon in a cup of tea, since I take both sugar and lemon in my tea – and how delicious it would be in my favorite cocktail, a blue lemon drop!
Anyhoo back to the citrus! We learned something handy, it is easier to keep the citrus
in slices during the boiling process, otherwise take care not to boil them in a hard boil, or the fruit will shred and fall apart and become un-useable. So once we figured this out, we boiled the citrus pieces cut into quarters or slices in a gentle boil, almost a simmer, until the rind began to change color – since our citrus didn’t actually sink to the bottom, before we transferred them to an ice bath.
We took care to boil the remaining citrus in batches, taking care not to crowd them so that they wouldn’t fall apart as easily. And because I wasnt sure how it would work out, we boiled a new batch of salted water for every type of citrus so we did all the oranges at once, then boiled fresh water for the grapefruit, etc. I think this is going to keep the taste of the respective citrus more true – but we did one mixed batch, so we will soon find out!
This recipe takes two weeks to cure the fruit, and I felt comfortable keeping the citrus in a container, mixed, while they cure – but I’m going to have to borrow some drying racks from my friends to keep up with the amount of citrus that are currently undergoing the candying process. Why so much at once? They will keep i an airtight container in the fridge for up to six months and I have plans to dip some in chocolate and roll others in sugar and give some away as gifts and keep a jar on hand to snack on between my husband and I.
I have a few other ideas of ways to put a twist on these if they come out right – but for now? We will be tending the fruit once a day for two weeks and praying that they come out right! Some of the people who tried this recipe out, commented on another blog that if the neglected their citrus for one day, the sugar formed crystals and became overly sugared by the end and werent edible – unless you fancy a sugar lick!
This project was certainly fun for me! The rings of grapefruit were almost glistening and the most true to the “ruby red” description that I have ever seen for a grapefruit. The most perfect and succulent red color – and against the smaller, perfect rings of lemon and lime and slices of the deep orange colored oranges (thank goodness the oranges were actually orange!) looked like I had a Tupperware full of jewels! This was certainly one of the most colorful and exciting projects I have undertaken lately.
Would you like to join me over the next two weeks candying some citrus as well?
- 1 kg or 5 C of sugar plus 100g or 1/2 C every day for 2-3 weeks
- 600 g or 3 C of water
- more sugar for dipping
- melted chocolate for dipping
- at least one pound of citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit or any other citrus you fancy)
First, prepare the fruit. Clean the fruit by scrubbing them under warm water. Then slice into thin rounds – we found that the 1/2 inch thickness held up better to the boiling water than anything thinner. The slices can be kept as circles, halves (wedges) or quarters.
Now, we are ready to blanch the fruit. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside. Add the slices of fruit to the boiling water. This may need to be done in batches depending on the size of your pot and the amount of fruit you are candying. Scoop the fruit from the water when the slices float to the top and place in the ice water to cool.
Prepare the curing solution by bringing the sugar and 600 g of water to a boil. You want to stir this solution constantly just until the water runs clear and the sugar has
completely dissolved. Once the syrup is ready, pour it while hot over the fruit slices. If the slices float, weight them down with a plate until they are fully submerged. Store the submerged fruit slices in a dark, cool place. For the duration of the two-week curing process, the fruit can be stored, completely submerged, uncovered – so long as it is cool. However, we are storing ours in the fridge due to the lack of counter space for other projects and a small child that has increased her reach along the counter also. This shouldnt make a difference either way.
Each day over the next two weeks, increase the sugar content of the sugar solution by 100 g. Do this by draining off the sugar solution the slices are submerged in and add 100 g of sugar, heat the solution to dissolved the sugar and pour it over the fruit again.