Ever wondered why you don't eat more grapefruit peels? Me neither. I guarantee that you'll look at grapefruit peels in a new light after making these beauties though. They look great and taste even better. Just imagine being able to casually toss off- "Oh yeah, those fancy candies? I made them from grapefruit peels."
Step 1: Get This Stuff Together Before You Start
4 grapefruits (organic wouldn't be a bad idea)
2 1/2 cups sugar (for the syrup)
1 cup sugar (for coating)
Bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)
4 quart non-reactive (stainless steel good, aluminum not good ) saucepan
A couple cookie sheets
Knife, cutting board, big spoon, etc.
Step 2: Candying the Peels
Prep the Peels
First, you need to get the peels off the grapefruits and cut into slices. The best way to do this is to cut each grapefruit into quarters and take the peel off of each quarter in one piece. Once you have a pile of peels take each one and slice it into 1/2 inch strips. Square off the ends of the strips and try to get them to roughly even lengths for that classy look we're going for. Or cut them into little dinosaur shapes if that's your thing. I threw in some orange peels too. Why not?
Boil out the Yuckiness
Did you taste a peel as you were cutting them up? Kind of bitter, huh? That's why we're boiling them. Not once, not twice but four times! Put the peels in the saucepan and fill it with water until there is an inch or so of water over the peels. Put it on the stove and bring it to a full rolling boil. Once it's really boiling drain the peels in a colander. Put the peels back in the pot and cover again with fresh water. Do the boil and drain routine again three more times. It's a little tedious but it will remove the bitterness from the peels.
Bring on the Sugar!
Return the peels to the pot, cover them with water again and add the 2 1/2 cups sugar. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and let it cook for 2 hours or so stirring occasionally. You will know they are ready when the peels look translucent. Let them cool in the syrup. You can store them in the fridge in the syrup in a container if you want to finish them later.
Step 3: Dressing Them Up
You now have candied peels but they are sticky and gooey...not so classy. Let's dress them up a bit. Take the cooled peels out of the syrup and lay them out on a drying rack or two. I would put the rack(s) on a cookie pan or put paper under them to catch any drips. Let the peels dry out until they appear fairly dry but are still sticky. You want to be able to dip them in sugar and have it stick but not have the syrup soak through the sugar coating. This could take anywhere from 4 hours to overnight. Don't get all sweaty if you let them dry out too long you can always dip them back in the syrup.
Now that your peels are at the perfect sticky but not too sticky stage it's time to coat them. Take a smallish bowl and put a cup or so of granulated sugar into it. Take each peel and dip one end into the sugar until it is coated halfway up. Put them back on the rack after you coat them.
Put some plastic wrap on a couple cookie sheets and set them aside nearby.
Take your microwaveable bowl and fill it with chocolate chips. Nuke it for 30 seconds or less at a time until the chocolate is melted. The chips will retain their shape even when they are soft so give them a little stir in between blasts of radiation. Pay attention because burnt chocolate is nasty. If you do go too far dump it and start over. A double boiler will work too but it's a little big for dipping in. Take each peel and dip the other end (the one not coated in sugar) in the chocolate. This will test your patience. The chocolate is more like a paste than a liquid so it takes a bit of fiddling to get enough chocolate on but not have a giant glob either. You'll get better with practice. Add more chips and reheat as you need to. Place your chocolate coated peels on the plastic and let them cool until they are hard.
Impress your friends
Put your classy candied grapefruit peels on a fancy plate and take them to a party. Everyone will be impressed at your amazing confectionary skills.
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