4 small tangerines
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
sugar for dusting
Carefully peel the skin off of the tangerines. I found it was easiest to quarter them, then peel. Carefully use a knife to scrape off any white pith. Cut the peel into thin strips. In a saucepan, heat the water and sugar until just boiling, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Add the tangerine peel and cook over medium heat until the peel is soft* about 15 minutes. Please not that while the syrup might thicken, it should not turn brown and caramelized. Drain the peels and toss with sugar**. Allow to cool and drain on a wire rack or on paper towels for 2 hours.
*Fish one out using chopsticks or tongs to test.
** Variation: dip into melted semisweet chocolate instead.
Thanks to a "buy one get one free" sale, we have bought about 12 lbs of tangerines in in the past week and a half. We've eaten our way through one bag and have approximately 9 more pounds of tangerines to go. The situation isn't as dire as it seems, the tangerines are exceptionally tasty (which is why after buying one 3 lb bag and getting another free, we went back and got two more) and they keep well in the fridge. That said, I have been trying to come up with recipes that feature tangerines. I thought candied tangerine peel seemed like a good bet. I took the chance that tangerine peel wouldn't need the multiple blanchings of orange or grapefruit or even lemon to remove the bitterness and pith and I was right. Tangerines have so little pith their skin isn't really bitter at all. I barely had to scrape any off, and one tangerine had so little pith you could almost see through it without scraping at all. Boiling them in the sugar syrup and tossing them in sugar was enough to sweeten them up and made for a very quick, satisfying and extremely tasty experiment. These would be cute to give as gifts or as a garnish on top of a dessert.