This post is the first of three that details how to make the classic British mince pie. The candied peel is only one small component but I decided to make it from scratch. I used all of the candied peel in my mince pies but candied peel and fruit can be enjoyed on it’s own or a impressive gift. Before this weekend I don’t think I’ve ever tried candied peel but it was surprisingly pleasant. Sweet, tart and with a little bit of a chew to it.
My knife skills leave a lot to be desired but eventually I was able to cut the skin off of four lemons. I didn’t have much luck peeling it off of these lemons (oranges might be easier). I need more practice. While I managed to get the peel off I did not manage to get it off in even strips.
However, as it all went into the mincemeat it didn’t really make a difference. You must try and remove the peel without too much of the pith (the white part of the fruit underneath the peel). After I finished I went back over the pieces and removed as much of this as possible. There was some remaining but this boiled away later.
If you’re as terrible with a knife as me then please be careful when peeling your chosen citrus fruit. I had a few near misses. I chose four lemons but orange and grapefruit can also be used.
4 cups sugar (plus extra for rolling)
4 cups water
- Starting at the top of each lemon make 6 vertical strips down the lemon (without piercing the fruit). Use your fingers to gently remove the peel.
- Use a knife to cut away the excess pith. Cut into 1/4 inch strips.
- Add the strips to a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then drain. Repeat this process a total of three times.
- Add the sugar and water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in the peel and simmer gently for one hour, until the peel is translucent.
- Remove from the heat and leave the peel to cool. Remove the peel from the sugar mixture and place on a paper towel to drain (for a few moments).
- Roll in sugar and place in a wire rack to dry for 30 minutes.
- Will keep covered for 2 weeks.
adapted from Martha Stewart