Candied Peel

 Candied Peel Key facts Candied peel dates back centuries, to a time when fresh fruits had to be preserved to last through the winter; it is an essential part of Christmas recipes such as Christmas cake, pudding, Florentines and panettone; all citrus fruit can be used to make candied peel.

If you want to give your cake that five-star flavour, then go for whole candied peel and look for the bright, glistening signs of the new season's crop. You'll find it has a great deal more flavour than ready-cut peel.

No matter how good the original quality of the ready-chopped peel, it invariably seems to lose something in the chopping. Cutting it yourself is extra work, I know, but if you have a really sharp knife (or kitchen scissors) and something good on the radio it really is worth the effort (and you need only cut the peel as you need it).

It will keep almost indefinitely in a screw-top jar, so it's worth buying in a stock of it when it's readily available at Christmas time. If at other times it is not found at your local supermarket, you will probably be able to get some at a specialist food shop or delicatessen, but you'd better discard any you have had for as long as a year.

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