Citrus are among the most extraordinary ingredients. Their tart, acidic juice can be used in a multitude of ways. We use them to brighten the flavors of sauces, dressings and soups. They tenderize meats. And they even make our list of the 10 Best Foods for Women. But my favorite applications for citrus would have to be in desserts. That’s why I was thrilled when cookbook author Carla Snyder offered to share the secret to her Chocolate-Dipped Candied Citrus Peel.
This recipe comes from her cookbook, Sweet and Tart from Chronicle Books. Comments Carla, “Sure you can buy candied citrus peel. But it will never be as good as the stuff you can make at home. These little citrus strips make a perfect ending to a meal with shortbread cookies and strong coffee. But they are just as good diced into biscotti or as a garnish on a simple lemon cake.”
- 3 organic lemons or 2 organic oranges or 1 organic grapefruit
- 2 cups sugar divided
- 6 oz high quality white or dark chocolate chopped into small pieces, divided
- Spray a cooling rack with vegetable oil and place it over a sheet pan.
- Make four slits along the length of each citrus fruit from end to end, cutting through the peel but not into the flesh. Using your fingers, gently peel the skin from the fruit and reserve it for another use. Cut the peel into thin strips, about 1/4-in.
- Transfer the peel to a saucepan and cover with cold water.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Drain, cover with fresh water and repeat the process again.
- Drain and rinse the peel.
- Bring 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the drained peel to the syrup, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the peel is very tender and looks translucent, about 40 minutes.
- Scoop the peel from the syrup with a fork and transfer it to the prepared rack to catch the drips.
- Dry the peel for about 30 minutes, then dredge in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. This helps to keep the peel from sticking to each other.
- Lay it out on a parchment lined pan and allow the peel to dry overnight.
- Melt 5 oz of the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Be sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Don’t walk away from it. Just stand there and stir.
- Once the chocolate is half melted, remove the bowl from the pan of water and continue to stir it on the countertop. It will begin to cool but the chocolate will continue to melt.
- Once the chocolate is melted, continue to stir in the remaining small chunks of chocolate to cool it down. Stir gently until the chocolate is cool and no longer melts. You can fish out any unmelted chunks.
- Dip the peel halfway into the chocolate and lay it on a parchment lined sheet pan to firm up. Once the chocolate is firm (about 1 hour) you can package it up or store it for future use.
Note: The candied, chocolate-dipped peel can be stored at room temperature for up to three weeks.
Love the recipe? Get the whole book!
And be sure not to miss Carla’s other cookie recipe on our site, her Raspberry Linzer Cookies. (It’s a little more labor intensive than this candied citrus recipe but sooo worth the work!)
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