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Candied Citrus Peels

Candied citrus peels
Once you start making marmalade and other citrus preserves, you start having a lot of citrus peels around.  Once you learn how easy it is to make candied citrus peels you will not throw another rind away!  This is a really fun candy to make and you can feel good about the simple ingredients that went into it! 
Citrus peels (as many as you have)
Organic cane sugar
Filtered water
Scoop the flesh from your rinds trying to remove as much of the pith as possible because that is where the bitterness lies.  Slice your rind into whatever shapes you desire.  Long strips or tiny triangles, it is really just a matter of style.  Add the rinds to a pot and cover with a measured amount of filtered water.  Be sure to just cover your rinds with water, they float and so this can be deceptive.   Put a lid on the pot and simmer until the rinds are very tender.  This will vary for all citrus.  Lemons and grapefruit usually take 30-35 minutes.  Oranges and limes have denser peels and take 40-50 minutes.  You can tell if they are tender if you pinch the rind between two fingers and it breaks apart.
When tender, drain through colander thoroughly, discard water and return peels to pot.  While they are still warm add the same amount of sugar as you did of measured water.  (so if it took 3 cups of water to cover your peels then it takes 3 cups of sugar).  This may seem like a lot of sugar, but we are making candy!  The reason we need this amount of sugar is because we are going to simmer the peels in the melted sugar and we need all of the peels to be surrounded in the liquid so they get saturated.  Simmer in the sugar for about 45 minutes or until the pieces of rind become translucent and saturated to the very core.  You can break them apart to check on their center.  When finished, strain very well and safe the sugar juice.  Put it in a jar and refrigerate and it can be used for sweetening tea or making other shrubs or spritzers! 
Lay flat and single layer on baking sheet with parchment paper and pop in oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit out 1-2 days to dry out.  Dust lightly with a bit more sugar and store in a jar.  Will keep for 6 months.
Flavor variations.
In the final stage of dusting with sugar you can add any spices that you desire.  In our kitchen we have been having a lot of fun with this and have made all sorts of combinations and people love them!  We have added lavender or cinnamon and nutmeg or garam masala or even cayenne and sea salt.  We toss them in the spices mixed with a little sugar just after we pull them out of the oven and before drying them out.  Have fun with it!

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