Julienne Like a Pro
A julienne peeler is a nifty kitchen tool that works well on a variety of fruits and vegetables, quickly cutting them into thin, elegant strips. It’s easy to use and many versions have a removable clear safety cover that flips out of the way while you peel, but locks back into place as a protective cover during storage. (I am partial to my OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler).
This type of peeler is especially good on oranges, lemons and grapefruit. Starting at the top of the citrus, gently press the sharp stainless blade just under the skin, then continue running it down to the opposite end, forming julienne strips. Repeat until all the peel has been removed, avoiding the bitter white pith by not pressing too deeply.
To candy the julienne peel, place it in a saucepan of water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain, add water and boil again for 5 minutes (these steps remove the bitter flavor). Drain, then return peel to saucepan. Add equal parts of water and sugar (enough to cover peel by 1/2-inch) and bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer until peel is tender and translucent, 10 to 15 minutes.
Sprinkle a small baking sheet with a layer of sugar. Using tongs, remove the peel from the sugar syrup, shaking off excess. Place julienne peel on the sugar-lined sheet, sprinkle generously with more sugar, then toss to coat completely. Separate strips and let stand overnight on sugared sheet to dry. Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 month. For a full recipe check out our Candied Orange Peel.
Use the candied peel as a garnish for cakes, cupcakes, tarts, brownies, mousse, puddings and soufflés. Or, chop them into small pieces and sprinkle over vanilla ice cream. The candied peel can also be dipped halfway in melted bittersweet, milk or white chocolate and placed on a foil-lined sheet to chill, then enjoyed as an after-dinner treat.
Note that the julienne peeler also works well on vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, and zucchini. The thin strips can be used in a variety of salads, sandwiches, and pastas, or as a filling for summer rolls.
Images: Sarah Tenaglia