Sunday, 17 January 2010
I may have mentioned before how much I love citrus. I just love how the tart, sharp flavours work so well in desserts and sweets, they combine perfectly with a little sugar to make a fresh, flavourful treat in almost any form!
Anyway, when I was shopping one day I spied a honey pomelo lurking amongst the fresh fruit. It was a weird looking beast, like a large grapefruit but in the shape of a pear. It has a greeny-yellow skin and no strong scent from the outside. I just had to buy one!
After doing some research, I found mixed reviews and decided to just go ahead and get on with it! There's a lot of white pith inside and the actual fruit part is probably the size of a large grapefruit. the flesh is a pale yellow and quite dry to the touch (unlike an orange for example). The flavour is delicate with a sharpness akin to grapefruit but with a subtle sweetness too. It's really hard to explain but the lot was gone within an hour or so... Every time I (or my mum) walked past the bowl in the kitchen, another piece was devoured.
It was quite laborious preparing the fruit. The pith has to come off and the membrane between segments is tough and dry so that has to come off too. But, as a huge pomegranate fan; I'm okay with labour intensive foods. I wouldn't buy one very often (I've only bought 2 ever) but they're nice for a change.
In order to get the most out of the £1.49 I paid (another reason why I wouldn't splurge too often) I looked into the process of candying the peel. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and yielded really delicious results.
You start by cutting the peel into strips about a centimetre wide, you can keep them fairly long but basically, they need to fit in the saucepan and they need to be a size that you'd want to serve.
Next you need to blanch the peel to rid it of some of its bitterness. Bring a pan of water to the boil, plunge the peel in for a minute and then take them out. Repeat this twice more with fresh water each time.
Next, heat equal quantities of water and sugar (a cup of each) in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Place the peel into the syrup and turn the heat down until the syrup is at a simmer and leave to candy for around about an hour. Keep checking on the syrup to make sure it doesn't boil away completely and allow the peels to burn.
Once the syrup has been absorbed into the peel, remove from the heat and spread the peel on a wire rack to cool. Once cool, stuff them into your face quickly and eat them. They are delicious.
You can also take this a step further and cover the candied peel in chocolate. I cannot be held responsible for the effects these gorgeous little treats may have on you... They are amazing.