|Candied citrus peel|
Last year, it was my mom's "fruitcake", which has been more aptly renamed the Boozy Zenith Bourbon Pecan Cake.
The year before it was Dorie Greenspan's figgy pudding.
This year, it is going to be panettone, the sweet traditional Italian bread that my family eats every year on Christmas morning. (Check back next week for the full recipe.)
Although you can make panettone with a variety of dried fruits, traditional recipes usually call for candied citron or citrus peel. Earlier this summer I had come across a recipe for candied citrus peel at Homemade Trade; it has been on my to-try list for months. Fortunately, even though it's no longer summer here in Vermont, Florida citrus is all over the local markets right now.
Clearly, there was some fate involved here.
I followed the recipe (from Lea Rude) exactly as described on Aimee's blog, except for halving all the amounts. The process is definitely time-consuming (it took me several hours, plus overnight drying time), but it is well worth it. The peels are sweet, with just the right amount of citrusy tang left to prevent them from tasting like jellied fruit slices (although I love those!).
The two and a half pounds of fruit I used (lemons and oranges) produced enough peel to fill a pint canning jar. Given that the peels will keep for a few months, I expect I will start experimenting with throwing bits of sweet peel into all sorts of breads and cookies in the new year.
I can't wait to see and taste the sweet, colorful bits of peel in my inaugural attempt at panettone next week.