Thursday, 21 October 2010

Candied Pomelo Peel

The Manbeast and I have been a little pomelo-crazy lately, ending most of our meals by devouring at least a segment of this dino-sized grapefruit-ancestor. While the giant, juicy sacs were perfect for quenching an after-dinner thirst, the rind and pith, with the texture (and probably, taste) of building insulation, had to be binned. I didn't feel so good about chucking all that away though - surely, but surely, something could be done with it? 

A little digging around on Google, and I unearthed several recipes for making candied pomelo peel. I love candied ginger, so the idea of candying some pomelo peel sounded good to me. Here's the recipe I ended up using - Patricia Yeo's Candied Pomelo Peel. I've taken step-by-step photos too, for those of you who are interesting in trying it out. 
1. Fill a pot with water (I found it much easier using a large pot),  then bring it to a boil. Add the peel to the pot, and, after bringing the water back to a boil, let it boil for about 10-15 minutes. D
Drain the peel, discard the water and repeat this step another two times. This helps removes some of the bitterness, and makes the peel easier to remove.
You'll find that the pith has turned translucent after the first boiling. You can remove it then, or wait till after the third boiling.
2. Drain the peel, and try and scrap off as much of the pith as possible, leaving only the green parts. Cut the peel into thin strips (about 1/4 inch thick). Sorry, no pictures of this step, it's a two-handed job.

3. Add 500 ml water and 500 gm sugar to a pot. Dissolve the sugar in the water, bring the syrup to a boil, then add the peel and cook over a low heat for about one hour, until most of the liquid is gone. 
You can see in this photo how the peel has changed in colour, it looks translucent here. 
4. Okay, this bit takes a bit of coordination and concentration, you don't want to be burnt by hot sugar so be careful! Add about 200gm granulated sugar into a bowl or plate. Place a wire rack over a baking tray (to catch any drips), then remove a few strips of peel at a time and drop them into the sugar. Coat the strips of peel in the sugar, the place them on the rack to dry. Repeat until all the peel is used up, you may have to add more granulated sugar every now and then. 

I used a pair of tongs to pick up the strips, but then found it much easier using a pair of chopsticks instead. Try and persuade someone to help you here, so you can pick up the strips and drop them into the sugar, and the other person can do the coating and drying.
Let it dry overnight, then keep it in an airtight container, or put them into little cellophane bags and give them to friends. 

The candied peel have a slightly bitter aftertaste, which I really enjoy, but not everyone might like. I asked the Manbacon to test them out on his colleagues, and they all hated it because they found it too bitter for them. 

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