Candied grapefruit peel

I was at the dentist for a regular cleaning and the hygienist asked me if I had noticed anything wrong with my teeth since the last time I was there.  “Well,” I said, “this one molar in the back seems a little sharp.”    When the dentist came in he took a look and told me that I had broken off the back of the filling.  He said I was probably grinding my teeth at night.  (It’s his thing, he always tells me this at least three times a visit.)  I got it fixed a couple weeks later and promptly broke it again in under an hour.  I figured this out by looking in the mirror and checking out my molar.  It’s the first time I’ve actually examined my teeth in years.  I had never thought to do this before.  I’ve always felt around but never could really tell what was going on in there.  Once I used my eyes instead of my tongue I understood why the dentist knew so quickly that I had broken the filling.  It was clear as day.

Cooking Grapefruit Peel

A pot full of peels

Grapefruit peels aren’t the first thing that come to mind when I think of sophisticated desserts but as you can see from the photo at the top that after a little time boiling in sugar syrup and a dip in chocolate they dress up pretty well.

Peels on a drying rack

Sticky peels drying on a rack

Who’s looked at a pile of peels and thought “Hey, I bet that would make a fancy treat” ?  It wasn’t me.  I had a bag full of fresh grapefruit  that a friend brought back from Thanksgiving in Scottsdale.   As usual, Google got me pointed in an interesting direction.  I used this recipe from Jacques ‘Mr. Chocolate’ Torres to deal with my citrus windfall.  Like my dentist who looked at my teeth and knew right away what was needed, an experienced pastry chef can view the world through the lens of confection and see exactly what an astringent grapefruit peel needs to become a delicacy.

I like that.

Now I have a container of grapefruit infused syrup that I’m going to use to make candied ginger.