I made these sticky tart little jewels without a clear purpose other than a citrus glow for a grey day. As I experiment I will share possibilities include cake toppings, cookie topping, fancy sticky cocktail garnish (no teeny tiny clothespins though please!) .
You can use grapefruit, oranges, regular lemons, or limes. I like the Meyer lemon for its bright yellow peel which is slightly thinner that most regular lemons. I also had a leftover knob of ginger which I added to the mix.
For this candying project I went with organic (or unsprayed if you live somewhere you can source citrus locally and know their practices)- as I like do for anything that I’m eating and including the skin. Citrus falls in the middle on the EWG’s guide to pesticide levels in produce.
One of the recipes I used as a reference blanched the fruit- this helps with both color and bitterness from the pith. I tried a few grapefruit slices where I skipped the blanching and couldn’t tell the difference in color but could definitely detect less bitter notes in the blanched fruit. If you are doing this with limes I would not skip the blanching step.
I used a smaller amount of sugar and water since I knew I would be there to keep an eye out, use a larger amount if you have a bigger pan or are concerned about things going dry.
candied citrus slices
- 18” saucepan or skillet (this is one instance where I don’t use cast iron because of the high acid and long cooking time involved)
- water for boiling
- an ice bath
- 1-2 cups sugar
- 1-2 cup water
- 1 meyer lemon sliced thin about 10 slices depending on the size of the fruit
- wash and rinse your citrus
- slice as thin as possible while still maintaining shape (this varies from fruit to fruit). You can either discard the ends or remove the outer peel sans pith and candy that as well.
- Blanch by scalding in simmering water for one minute followed by an ice bath.
- In a 18” saucepan or skillet (this is one instance where I don’t use cast iron because of the high acid and long cooking time involved) or something big enough for the fruit to form a single layer combine equal parts granulated sugar and water over medium heat.
- Once the sugar has dissolved add the blanched citrus slices and simmer until mostly translucent (depending on thickness this can take anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour) checking regularly to make sure the liquid has not evaporated or gotten too thick and is maintaining a simmer not a roiling boil
- remove cooked slices to a wire rack placed over a silpat or parchment paper to catch the sugary drips
- reserve the leftover citrus sugar water as a citrus simple syrup for drinks or you could use it in whipped cream to add a citrus bite or as a drizzle over cake
- candied fruit can be covered and refrigerated and will keep for several weeks- I tossed the pieces I was not using immediately in granulated sugar to help prevent sticking before layering in with said sugar in a covered bowl