Dark Chocolate Dipped Grapefruit Peels (and a grapefruit smoothie)
July 20, 2014 § 3 Comments
I have a bit of an obsession with using up ingredients. There was the time I got a free quart of fresh apple cider, but I don’t really like apple cider in drink form, so I proceeded to make baked apple cider oatmeal, baked cider donuts by combining this recipe and this recipe, and apple cider smoothies.
When I was home over Thanksgiving, I realized I had turned into my grandma, who was roasting apples that were past their prime in hopes of salvaging them. She grew up during the Depression…I don’t have a similar excuse for my nuttiness, except that it’s partly because I don’t want to waste any food, especially ingredients that feel special, but also because I like the challenge of it.
So, all that to say that I had a little more than half a grapefruit left over after making this cake, and I just couldn’t let it go to waste (I mean, that color!). But, I’m not the type of person that eats half a grapefruit in the morning (I just can’t stray from my morning yogurt with granola and acai), so I had to get creative.
When I have an ingredient I’m trying to use up, my first stops are The Kitchn, which does great round-ups of ways to use different ingredients, and Smitten Kitchen and 101 Cookbooks, which both have recipe indexes organized by ingredient (genius!). Sometimes I just type into the Google machine, “how can I use up…[fill in the blank]” but as you can imagine there is less quality control this way.
After doing some searching, the contenders included:
- Guacamole with grapefruit, from The Kitchn
- Honeyed grapefruit oat scones, from The Kitchn
- Grapefruit yogurt cake, from Smitten Kitchen
- Candied grapefruit peels, from Smitten Kitchen
- Ginger grapefruit curd, from 101 Cookbooks
Now, I’m not going to pretend that you don’t know how this story ends, because this post has a title. But, I wanted to share with you the fruits of my research in case you find yourself in a similar predicament!
I briefly toyed with the idea of making the guacamole and pretending like it was an acceptable dressing for my lunch salads for the week (I haven’t given up on this idea yet), but I was worried the chunks of grapefruit would bother me. I don’t love citrus fruit, I’m more a fan of the juice and the zest.
My roommate is out of town, so having an entire batch of scones or a whole cake seemed dangerous, and the grapefruit curd looked delicious but I was intimidated by the prospects of making my own ginger juice on a weeknight.
The candied grapefruit peels seemed like they might taste like Sour Patch Kids, which are a a guilty pleasure of mine, so I was ready to go. Also, once Sam saw the pictures of the candied grapefruit peels, he was much more interested in the finished product of this post, so the winner was clear.
Deb from Smitten Kitchen didn’t like how her grapefruit peels came out–they were too bitter. But, I dug around in the comments of her post and found that other folks had success with this recipe from Bon Appetit, which has you boil the grapefruit peels three times before drying them.
It also suggests dipping them in chocolate. I mean, how could I see that suggestion and then let my grapefruit peels go without?
This recipe is quick (in terms of hands on time, the peels do have to dry for a good number of hours), fun to make, and turn out beautiful. They are delicious–tart, but not overpoweringly so, and the chocolate balances this out.
Bon Appetit says you should let them dry for 2-4 hours, but after 4 hours mine were still pretty wet, and I was really wanting them to be gummy like Sour Patch Kids, so I let them sit out overnight, covered with some plastic wrap. In the morning they were just perfect. These would make a great gift along with some homemade granola.
Problem was, I still had the grapefruit flesh left! So, I turned the remaining grapefruit segments into a smoothie by whirring them in the food processor with 2 ripe bananas and a big handful of frozen raspberries.
I found a way to have my yogurt AND grapefruit by scooping some of the smoothie over my morning yogurt instead of my usual acai (and you know it had to be good if I was willing to stray from my breakfast routine). It was a beautiful color, but also had similar tartness to the acai, balanced with the sweetness of the banana. I froze leftovers using the muffin tin technique from The Kitchn, and highlighted here.
Dark Chocolate Dipped Grapefruit Peels
From Bon Appetit
2 large grapefruits (or however many you have, just adjust the sugar and water accordingly)
1 cup sugar (and extra for coating the peels after they are dry)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (a bar will work fine too)
- Cut grapefruit into quarters.
- Working with one quarter at a time, use a paring knife to separate the peel from the flesh. It’s okay to leave some of the white pith attached, just try to keep it to about 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut the peel into thin strips, about a 1/4 inch wide or so.
- In a small pot, cover the peels with cold water. Bring to a boil, then drain.
- Boil and drain the grapefruit peels two more times.
- Add 1/2 cup of water, the sugar, and grapefruit peels back into the pot. Stir it up, and then bring to a boil.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. You want the peels to be translucent.
- Drain the peels and lay them out on a wire rack overnight. Once they were cool, I covered the peels loosely with a piece of plastic wrap, just to protect them.
- The next day, place some sugar in a bowl and toss each peel in the sugar until it is evenly coated. (I actually did this at 7 am when I woke up because I couldn’t wait…)
- Microwave the chocolate in a glass bowl in 15 second bursts, stirring between each burst, until it is melted. This process tempers the chocolate, which does many things, but for our purposes keeps it glossy.
- Dip one half of each grapefruit peel in the chocolate. You can use a spoon to help you coat the peel with the chocolate evenly.
- Lay the grapefruit peels back on the drying rack. Once the chocolate is no longer dripping, place the drying rack with the peels in the fridge, so the chocolate can harden. I put some parchment paper down on my fridge shelf underneath the drying rack to catch any chocolate drips, just in case.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container. According to the internet, they can last a couple of months this way.