Friday, February 25, 2011

From Farm (Backyard) to Table: Candied Tangerine Peel

There are a bunch of citrus trees on our block--oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruits; we have oranges and grapefruits in our backyard. Everything ripens at once and all the neighbors end up knocking on your door with extra fruit to share. Between our own fruit, and that of our neighbors, we ended up with about 150 lbs of citrus--and after eating a few pounds, I juiced the rest of it--7 overflowing grocery bags of fruit. We've been drinking fresh juice for the last few weeks.

I love candied citrus peel--it's fruity, and sweet, and a little bitter all at once. I've never tried to make it myself since I assumed it to be a very complicated process. But, with all the fruit I juiced, I had lots and lots of peel to work with.

I used a Martha Stewart recipe to candy the peel and I was surprised at how simple it was. Basically, you just boil the peel to release some of the bitterness, and then you reboil it in sugar syrup. Here is the recipe I used.

I added some of the peel to a basic shortbread recipe, similar to this, and it was good except that I should have cut the peel into smaller pieces--once baked it gets a bit chewy.

I love growing food, and even though our yard is teeny-tiny, we have peaches, grapefruits, pomegranates, and strawberries. This year I hope to squeeze in a couple of fig trees. If you don't live in the right climate to grow citrus outdoors, there are many dwarf varieties available so that you can grow your own oranges inside your house. Neat!

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