Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Candied Pomelo Peels

I'm not really a candy maker, but I suppose everyone needs to go outside their comfort zone at some point, and so I briefly ventured into the land of boiled sugar, and I can tell you now that it's not as scary as some people make it seem.

Let's start from the beginning though:  My sister recently went on a trip to California, where we have a lot of family on my mom's side.  When she went to visit a few of our great-aunts and uncles, they gave her some pomelos from their backyard garden to take home.

These pictures aren't edited; my hands just tend to be this odd pink-purple color in the winter because of the cold.

Pomelo, for those of you who don't know, is a large citrus fruit common in Southeast Asian that is comparable to a grapefruit, except that the pomelo is much less sour.  The peel of the pomelo is very thick and it has much of the wonderful fragrance and oils of the fruit, much like the orange peel (in terms of the orange).  I've eaten and seen recipes for orangettes, and I've heard vaguely of people candying pomelo peels, but it never occurred to me as something I might do.

This time, however, after my mom peeled the fruit, we looked at the gorgeous peel left behind and my mom commented upon how wasteful it felt to just throw it away.  I mentioned the recipes for candying the peel and, on a whim, we decided to try it ourselves.

The peel was cut up into matchsticks and then blanched to remove some of the bitterness in the pith.  Then we boiled it in a sugar water mixture for over an hour.  It was essentially a two day process, since we left the candied peels over night to dry before I coated them in sugar and chocolate the next day.

I definitely like the chocolate-coated peels more than the sugar coated ones, but my mom likes both, and she thinks these would be great in a cake (most likely flavored with rum), chopped up and mixed in the batter.  I will have to report back to you on that.  In the mean time, here's a treat to nibble on.

Patricia Yeo’s Candied Pomelo Peel recipe
1 large pomelo
2 cups sugar
pinch of salt

Peel the pomelo.
Trim the pith from the peel as need and then cut into thin (1⁄4-inch-wide) strips.

Fill a small pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pomelo peel and blanch for 1 minute. Remove the peel and drain. Repeat this three more times, changing the water each time.  This step removes some of the peel’s bitterness.

After the four blanching, refill the pot with 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar, and a pinch of salt. Dissolve the sugar and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and add the peels back to the pot.
Reduce the heat to low until the peel is translucent and almost no liquid remains, a little over 1 hour.
Remove the peel from the pot and cool on a wire rack.  The pomelo-scented sugar water can be saved and mixed with tea (like honey) or mixed with yogurt or sliced fruit for a nice garnish.

To finish the peels: Either sprinkle with granulate sugar or dip in melted chocolate.

Store in airtight container for up to one week.


  1. This seems so good! Also sounds like a good product from a good team's teamwork!

  2. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing....