Now I know candied peel is not everyone’s cup of tea, myself included…that is, until I tried the homemade stuff. I took a notion that if I was going to make chocolate and orange cupcakes then ‘real’ candied peel could be the icing on the cake, so to speak. There is a touch of madness to this because the whole process takes about 4 days to complete. Don’t be put off by that though, you don’t have to do much most of the time. I was pleasantly surprised by the end-result – a far cry from that stuff you can buy in the supermarket.
Wash the fruit. Slice off the top and bottom of each fruit and cut the peel in wide strips, from top to bottom. Make sure the pith remains attached to the skin. Place each type of peel in a separate saucepan, fill with cold water and boil until soft – takes up to about 90 minutes.
Drain and place all the peel in one saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring up to the boil and cook for a further 20 minutes before draining.
Dissolve the sugar in 300ml water in a thick-bottomed saucepan, over a low heat. Bring up to the boil and gently stir in the peel. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring from time to time, until the peel has pretty much absorbed all the syrup. Allow 2 hours or so for this.
Line a tray with greaseproof paper. Arrange the peel on the tray so that it can dry. Allow 3-4 days for drying and turn it over once per day. Once it’s dry, chop it as you like, or leave whole until being used. Store in an airtight container.