- Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2007 -- 10pm
- Location: Bloomington, IN
- Kitchen: My Apartment
- Dining Companion: Matty
- Recipe Rating: D
I made this candied grapefruit peel with the intention of sending it to Chris as a little holiday gift. Given the outcome of this recipe, it will not be finding its way into Chris' mailbox (sorry Chris!), but rather into the garbage can. Let me just start by saying that I am a fairly patient cook. I have a high tolerance for recipes that have many steps, or procedures that border on ridiculous. Occasionally though, The Book challenges even my patience. This was one of those times. The directions for this recipe are essentially as follows: Peel grapefruit. Cut peel into slices. Put peel slices in cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Drain. Cover peel with cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Drain. Cover peel with cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Drain. Cover peel with cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Drain. Cover peel with cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Drain. No, I did not just get confused with the cut and paste on my computer. This recipe actually calls for the peel to be blanched FIVE TIMES! And after all that, the recipe continues... Now, the logic here (supposedly!) is that this repeated blanching makes the peel less bitter. That is a noble goal, and I can respect it, but after tasting the end product I find it absolutely impossible to believe that the blanching reduced the bitterness in the slightest.
I will eat essentially anything. I have preferences of course, but I am not a picky eater. This evening, I bit into one of these candied grapefruit peels (which, to their credit, were absolutely beautiful!), and I immediately ran to the sink to spit it out. "Huh," I thought to myself, "maybe I got a bad one." So I picked a different one, and tried again. And again, I had to spit it out. I, stubbornly tried a third time, and then a fourth, figuring maybe I just needed to get used to it. But no, this recipe (at least to me) is actually inedible. I don't know if any of you out there have ever eaten candied orange peel. It is delicious, but it is deeply, intensely orange flavored. Well, grapefruit peel, it turns out, has the same intensity. But instead of being orange-flavored, it is grapefruit flavored, and EXTREMELY bitter. On attempt number 5 I realized that the the part of the candied peel that once was the pith actually tastes pretty good. It is only the very exterior of the peel that is truly awful. So I nibbled away at the pith of a piece or two, and decided it was reasonably tasty. Perhaps, that is what the entire piece of peel was supposed to taste like, and it just didn't work out that way. I don't know. One thing I do know: this recipe is bad. I would have given it an F, but it seems at least possible to me that with different grapefruit or a different person eating it (one with a strong affinity for bitterness) you might end up with an edible product.
If you're brave, here is the recipe.
The danger of cooking Christmas presents from The Book is that you can't always count on ending up with something that you want to pass along to someone you like.