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Candied Grapefruit Peel

  • 2 large grapefruits, Ruby or other variety
  • 3 quarts plus 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Cut a thin slice from the top and the bottom of each grapefruit. From the top to the bottom, cut through the outer skin and thick whitish pith to the fruit inside, spacing the cuts about 1 inch apart. Peel the grapefruits, keeping the skin and pith together. Cut each of the peel sections lengthwise into long strips 1/4 inch wide. You will have about 3 cups. Reserve the fruit for another use. Pour the 3 quarts water into a saucepan and add the peel strips. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, until only an inch or so of water remains in the pan and set them aside in a bowl. In a stainless-steel or other nonreactive saucepan, combine the 2 cups water with 1 cup of the sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir the still-warm peels into the syrup. Let the peels stand for 6 or 7 hours at room temperature. Return the pan to low heat and cook the peels until they have absorbed all of the syrup, about 30 minutes. The peels will become translucent and amber. During the last stages of cooking, keep a close eye on the peels to prevent scorching or burning. Remove the cooked peels from the pan and spread them in a single layer on a piece of aluminum foil or waxed paper. They will be very sticky and supple. Let the peels stand for about 12 hours to dry slightly. The next day, roll the peels, one by one, in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Leave them at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours to dry. Pack the candied peels into covered tins, boxes, or glass jars in layers separated by waxed paper. Store in a cool, dry place. The peels will keep for up to 2 months.

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