|3 cups||water||(plus more, for blanching)|
|4 1/2 cups||sugar||(plus more, for rolling)|
|2 tbsp||lemon juice||freshly squeezed (to keep sugar from crystallizing)|
|8 oz||extra-dark chocolate||(80% cacao), finely chopped|
1. Thoroughly wash fruit and cut off the skin. Remove some of the bitter pith from the peels. Don’t worry about trying to remove it all. Blanching the peels later will remove the bitterness. (I would remove less the next time.) Slice into strips.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add peels and boil for 5 minutes, then drain. Repeat this process three more times. (I found it helpful to have two pots of water boiling, transferring the peels back and forth from one to the other.) Place blanched peels in a pot and add sugar, water, and lemon juice. Simmer over medium-low heat until peels are translucent (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours). Don’t forget to keep an eye on them! A friend also told me that it helps to keep a bowl of water and a silicone brush nearby. Every so often, dip the brush in the water and run it around the inside perimeter of the pot. When finished, drain and let peels dry on a cooling rack overnight.
3. Prepare a plate of sugar. Roll peels in sugar until fully coated. You can leave them like this, but they’re even tastier when they’re coated in chocolate!
4. When I decided to coat these in chocolate, I thought it was as easy as melting a bunch of chocolate in a double boiler and dipping them in it. Not quite. You are going to need to temper your chocolate. (Well, what the heck does that mean?) Okay: Prepare your double boiler. Set aside 1/3 of your chocolate and transfer the rest to the double boiler. Whisk until chocolate is dissolved and mixture has reach 115°. Remove from heat and immediately add in remaining chocolate. Whisk until completely dissolved, and chocolate has cooled to around 84°. (Doing this will bring down the temperature of your chocolate, and also give it that pretty, glossy finish.) Now, apparently you can finish up the tempering process a couple different ways. Option 1: Return mixture to double boiler for 5–10 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk to cool. Repeat until mixture has reached 88°. Option 2: Tabling! If you have a marble pastry board and a dough scraper, I recommend giving this a try, just because it’s fun (and you’ll feel like a real chocolatier). Reheat mixture to 90°. Pour 2/3 of mixture onto your pastry board and scrape the mixture back and forth (spreading it thin and then bringing it back together), until it feels somewhat sludgy. Return it to your bowl of warm chocolate and stir to combine. Dip peels in chocolate and let them cool on waxed paper. They will keep at room temperature for a couple weeks (but I bet they won’t be around for that long).