Aside from the dough, there are two important factors in preparing any Rosca de Reyes: the tiny Niño Dios (the Christ child) figurines that are tucked inside AND the candied fruit topping to decorate the Rosca.
I spent the better part of yesterday morning searching high and low for the figurines that I've collected over the years. (I save them all, because I don't think I could live with myself if I threw away the baby Jesus.) I only found two, which is fine, but I know I have more hidden away somewhere.
With my search and rescue mission out of the way, I was finally able to get to work on making the candied citrus peels to decorate my Rosca with. I could have skipped this step and just decorated my Rosca with sugar topping, but I really wanted it to look like the traditional Rosca we eat year after year. And since candied citrus peels aren't something I can find at the stores here in town, I had to make my own. I once saw it done on an episode of Sugar (an awesome Food Network Canada show) and it looked easy enough, so why not?
Now, I know that everything always looks easier on TV and when attempting to make it at home it's always harder to do than you imagined. But that wasn't the case with this recipe. It was so incredibly easy! And inanely delicious!
I used grapefruit, tangerine and lime peel, but any citrus fruit will work. (I'm thinking lemons!) The lime and tangerine peels were very thin to begin with, so there wasn't much to bite into. They tasted really good, but I wanted something with more to chew on.
My favorite was the grapefruit. I'm head-over-heals in love with these candied grapefruit peels! The peel is thicker, so there's definitely more to chew on. I had to force myself to stop eating them because I wouldn't have enough to decorate my Rosca with later. They were that good. Even my Hubby and kiddies love them and they never eat the candied citrus peel on the Rosca.
Even if you're not making a Rosca de Reyes, these candied citrus peels are a sweet treat that you really have to try.
Candied Citrus Peel
(recipe from Anna Olson)
- 1 grapefruit
- 2 mandarin oranges (tangerines)
- 3 limes
- 2 cups water
- 2-1/4 cup sugar.
Slice the tops and bottoms of of the fruits. Score the peel in to 3 or 4 pieces with a knife. Peel the fruits and slice the peels into thin strips. (For the grapefruit, I cut the slices about 1/4-inch thick.)
Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. In another saucepan, combine 2 cups of water with 2 cups of the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the peels to the pot of boiling water and let simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the white part of the citrus peel has turned translucent.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the citrus peels to the pot with the water/sugar syrup. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
Drain the citrus peels and lay them on a sheet of parchment paper or a lightly greased baking sheet and let dry for a few hours. (About 4 hours.) Roll candied citrus peels in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
Store the candied citrus peels in an airtight container until ready to use. Enjoy!!!
Linking up with Newlywed's Blog Recipe Linky & #CitrusLove Blog-Hop