From PUT ´EM UP by Sherri Brooks Vinton
This recipe from canning guru Sherri Brooks Vinton is the ultimate reuse/recycle wonder. It turns something seemingly disposable—citrus rinds—into a sophisticated treat. Serve as is or dip into melted dark chocolate. Home economy never looked or tasted so elegant.
Makes about 2 pints
- Peels, including pith, from 6 oranges or thick-skinned citrus fruit
- 1 cup water, plus more for boiling peels
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
Cut the peels into ¼-inch strips. Cover with cold water in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to ensure that all of the peels are heated through. Strain and repeat two more times to remove the bitter flavor from the pith and to soft en the peels. Aft er the third round, set aside the peels to drain while you make the syrup.
Bring 1 cup water to a boil and gradually add 4 cups of the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Add the peels and the vanilla bean. Return to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking gently until the peels are translucent and tender, about 1 hour.
Dry: Using tongs, remove the peels to a drying rack placed over a baking sheet and separate them so they don’t touch. Let drain and then dry for 4 to 5 hours. When quite dry but still tacky, roll the peels in the remaining 1 cup sugar to coat. Peels keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 1 month.
Note: Put left over citrus syrup to work. This recipe will leave you with about a pint of simple syrup flavored with the citrus peel and vanilla. Don’t toss it! The syrup makes a lovely glaze for desserts or a sweetener for cold drinks.
Sherri Brooks Vinton is currently touring with her latest book PUT ´EM UP! www.sherribrooksvinton.com.