Homemade candy is so far beyond the store-bought stuff. (Not that I’d turn down any store-bought stuff, mind you, but there really is a difference.) And candied grapefruit peel is so sweet and lovely with its perfect citrusy flavor. Plus, it just seems so old-timey classic, doesn’t it?
As far as candy-making goes, candied grapefruit peel is pretty darn easy to make. With this method you just let the grapefruit peel sit on the stove for a couple hours and let time and heat do the work for you. That said, you’ll need a good amount of time to make it, but the hands-on part is pretty minimal.
And if grapefruit isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute oranges.
Take two grapefruits. Quarter them and peel the fruit, leaving the white pith. Eat the fruit and get your vitamin C or save it for another use. Then, cut each quarter of peel into half-inch strips. For me, this yielded 12 strips for each grapefruit. Given the peel bloats a bit through the cooking process, this makes for good-sized pieces.
Once your strips are ready, place them in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Now bring that to a boil. Let it boil for a minute and drain. Repeat for a total of four times. That’s right. FOUR times. We’re getting rid of all that bitterness. That “A” paper back in college that got a “B”? Gone. That ex? A faded memory. No more bitterness here, folks.
After the last drain, return the peels to the saucepan. Sprinkle one cup of sugar over them and fill the saucepan with just enough water to cover the grapefruit. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat, keeping it at a gentle, low simmer for two hours. You can get stuff done during this time, but keep your eye on it to make sure everything is safe and fine and dandy. After two hours, a lot of the water will be absorbed and what’s left should be syrupy.
Line a baking tray with wax or parchment paper and place a wire rack on top. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the peel to the rack. Now, let that dry a good two to four hours. Here’s where you can leave the room (or the house) the whole time and get whatever you need to do done.
After a couple hours, the peel will still be sticky. Roll around in additional sugar to coat and you’re ready to eat, serve or give. Note that overnight some of the sugar will absorb into the grapefruit peels, so if you’re making these ahead of time, you may need to coat them with more sugar. Or, just wait until the day you’re serving to coat with the sugar.
Want to add even more oomph? Dip the grapefruit peel in melted dark chocolate. Divine!