This recipe makes approximately 4 cups of candied citrus. If you’re making fruitcake, you’ll have some left over to munch on or give away to friends. I’ve heard from friends that this candied citrus when tossed into salads.
You can mix and match your citrus, as I tend to do. In the past, I’ve used different varieties of orange and lemon. Experiment and see what you prefer.
4 Valencia oranges (or 8 mandarin), 6 lemons (or 3 lemons and 3 limes)
6 c. granulated sugar
4 c. water
4 c. of granulated sugar for coating
1. Using a potato peeler, peel the citrus in strips. Try to keep the strips to approximately 2 inches and leaving as much pith as possible off the pith as possible. Scrape any remaining pith off the strips using a paring knife.2. To remove the bitterness from the peels, they must be boiled, rinsed, and strained several times. To do this, place the peels into a medium-sized saucepan and cover with cold water. Place pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Stain and rinse the peels under running water. Repeat this process (boiling, rinsing, straining) a total of four times.
3. Return the strained peels to the pan and add the 6 c. of sugar and the 4 c. of water, and stir well. Using cool water and a kitchen pastry/paint brush, wash down the sides of the pan; this will ensure any sugar stuck on the sides will not burn.
4. Bring mixture to a boil and cook the syrup until it reaches 260 degrees F on a candy thermometer (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool at room temperature.*
5. Cover the pot with saran wrap (or similar) and let the peels steep in sugar overnight at room temperature.
6. Strain the citrus peels and arrange them on a few wire racks. Sprinkle generously with the additional sugar. Turn peels over and repeat the process. Let the peels sit for 8 hours at room temperature.
7. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for approximately 3 weeks.
*If by chance the mixture begins to turn white and solidify, all is NOT lost. Use a wooden spoon to break up the mixture. Once it is cool to the touch, use your hands to break up the sugar surrounding the citrus peels, then use a strainer to sift the remaining sugar from the peels.You can skip steps 5 & 6.