I know, it seems particularly hardcore to make your own candied peel for things like fancy breads and buns, but when you realize how simple it is, and that every orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit literally comes with an almost-free batch of candied peel, you may be a convert. And beyond the simplicity and economy of it (good candied citron is expensive, man), the homemade version is leaps and bounds better than anything you’ll buy at the store, even the expensive stuff, even more so than just about any other product I can think of – consider homemade vs store bought chocolate chip cookies, and you’ll be in the right ballpark.
Literally all you have to do to make candied citrus peel – which is fab for baking but also divine on its own, and even more so dipped in chocolate – is peel an orange or two (I quarter it first), cut the peel into strips and simmer it in a simple syrup: equal parts water and sugar. (I like to save the water the peel first simmered in, so I don’t lose all that flavour.)
When you peel your citrus fruit (I like to cut it into quarters first, so the peel doesn’t come off in chunks), don’t worry about the white pithy part, although if you want thinner strips of only the dark orange part you can zip off the skin with a parking knife and leave much of the white part behind. I prefer the whole peel – once cooked in the simple syrup, the white part ends up tender and intensely orange-y, not bitter or spongy. So delicious – we’ve been nibbling a bowl of this all weekend.