Thursday, January 24, 2013

Get crackin'

Candied yuzu peel
It's citrus season again. The trip to my Mecca (Lindcove orchards just past Fresno, CA) was last weekend, and my living room floor is once again covered with some of the rarest citrus in the world (and I'm not being hyperbolic here).
The first batch, since I found it was so perishable last year, was the yuzu. I've made yuzu marmalade, and what I'm calling A to Z marmalade (Avana Apireno mandarin mixed with Yuzu, since the yuzu doesn't produce much juice); followed by candied yuzu peel. Here is a picture of the peel right after I swooped it out of the yuzu crack, which unfortunately did not set up overnight. Instead of leaving it as a syrup, I will cook it down some more until it reaches the hard crack stage. Crack is what I'm after here, although if necessary of course I could use the yuzu syrup as well. My chai doesn't care if it's syrup or crack.
I did a 3x blanching method with the peel, but if I were to do it again I would only blanch them once, because I don't mind the bitterness so much and really love the yuzu peel flavor. Last year I used the candied peel in breads, muffins, cookies and jams so far. Aromatic plum preserves (Howard's Miracle or Inca), I have discovered, combine beautifully with candied yuzu peel. Go wild with this stuff, you can't go wrong.
Yuzu (YOO-zoo): A traditional Japanese citrus, used almost exclusively for its aromatic rind. Yuzu has an aroma that's distinct from lemons, limes, or any other Western citrus fruit.