At the end of the day, all I really care about is if my kids know how to cook and eat. So I taught them how to make their own candy. Pixie tangerines are tight-skinned tangerines from the Ojai Valley, north of Los Angeles. They rival the lovely Kishu Mandarins, but Pixies have a more distinct flavor—slightly tart and super fragrant. Yes, I love these tangerines so much that I almost did give my last child the name Pixie, but was vetoed by my husband. They are juicy as all get up. And the skins? Well, I couldn’t throw them away, so I candied them this week with a batch of Meyer lemons that I got from a friend.
Here’s how: Peel the citrus, put the skins in cold water and bring to a boil. I do it a few times and replace the water. I remove when they are soft and take out all the pith, which is now easy to scrape off with a spoon or a knife. Slice the skins into thin pieces and then boil in a syrup mixture, which is made with 1 cup sugar, a ½ cup water, and a couple tablespoons of corn syrup. Boil gently until the skin is translucent. Remove and coat with superfine or regular granulated sugar. You can buy superfine sugar or make it by putting it in a food processor. The candied citrus stores in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a long time. Enjoy on your favorite ice cream, cake or cookie. The candy tastes a little like gummies, my daughter said. Did she just compare my handmade candied citrus peel to gummy bears? No appreciation for the finer things in life.