I have been on a total grapefruit kick lately. I don’t what it is but this season they seem extra juicy and the ruby red’s are the most vibrant of colors. To start I have a half in the morning, there is the occasional adult beverage made with the juice (don’t be surprised if you see that later in the week) and I made this yummy treat with the peel to be had whenever.
Candied grapefruit peels are like nature’s sour gummy candy. You’ll love them because they are sweet and chewy, but still have that zing of citrus. They are also quite easy to make. Can you boil water? Then you can make these.
So how do you make a bitter peel edible? Multiple boils. It helps soften the peel but also pulls out the bitterness from the pith, which is the white membrane between the flesh and the rind. It is important to keep the pith on the peel when cutting it away from the flesh because it’ll give you more real estate to candy.
When the pith becomes translucent it time for the sugar bath. This is important because once you get the bitterness out of the peel, you want to infuse it with some sweetness. The sugar boil also continues to soften the peel and give it a sticky exterior so that when you toss them in sugar it sticks. But be sure that the peels strips have dried. If not, you won’t have that white, crystallized exterior, just a gooey sugar mess.
The recipe below makes quite a few. I doubled the recipe which made a ton! No worries though, just put in cute little mason jars and give away to friends and family. But don’t give them all away, they make a great garnish for Friday’s post!
- Two large red or pink grapefruits
- 1 cup sugar, plus more for tossing
- Cut the peel from the grapefruit and slice into strips that are about ⅜" thick, leaving about ¼" pith attached.
- Place in a small saucepan, add cold water to cover.
- Bring to a boil, then drain; repeat twice.
- Bring peel, sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in the same saucepan.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until peel is translucent. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
- Drain and transfer peel to a wire rack.
- Let peel dry for 2-4 hours.
- Toss in more sugar.