Candied citrus zest makes a beautiful garnish for desserts and sweet snacks during the holidays, when oranges, lemons and grapefruits are at their best. Follow the simple steps below to create your own candied peel, and use the festive strips to decorate celebratory cakes and pies.
|Remove the zest from the fruit.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the colored part of the peel, called the zest, from the fruit in long, wide strips. Leave as much of the bitter white pith on the fruit as you can.
|Cut the zest into matchsticks.
Cut the zest into matchstick-sized strips. Discard any small or odd-shaped pieces. Blanch the strips in water to cover, then drain and rinse under cold water to halt the cooking process.
|Simmer the zest strips.
For each fruit zested, simmer with 1/3 cup water, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar until softened, about 10 minutes.
|Use or store the candied zest.
Let cool slightly, then transfer the zest and syrup to a bowl until ready to use. Drain before serving.