This is one of the most delicious homemade sweets we can make, especially in winter when there's so much local citrus fruit on hand. Candied peel is sweet and a bit tart, like a fragrant, sophisticated version of gummy candy. The shiny, colorful peel (that we usually call zest these days) has more concentrated fruit flavor than the juice thanks to the natural citrus oils, and it's a waste to throw that flavor away. Chef Patrick O'Connell, the famous chef who helmed The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia for many years said "Candied grapefruit rind is the sweet reward of frugality."
You can use this method to candy other type of citrus peels, but the peel of a large grapefruit is easiest to handle and creates long wide strips instead of little wisps. Some people call the strips "pamelas," which Southern cookbook author Bill Neal suggested came from pamplemousse, the French word for grapefruit. Any variety of grapefruit will do, but the thick red peel of Texas Ruby Reds makes beautiful candied peel.
Some people serve it alongside morning espresso or afternoon tea, or as the perfect last bite after an extravagant meal, although there is no wrong time to just nibble. Bakers use strips to garnish holiday cakes and cupcakes, or finely chop it to add to cheesecake or cannoli filling. If you have a recipe that calls for candied ginger, try candied grapefruit peel instead.
Strips of candied grapefruit peel, whether stored in its syrup or crystallized in more sugar, keep for weeks and makes an excellent holiday or hostess gifts.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
**Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
(-)Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.