About 30 years ago, I created my own seasonings I call “niacs”, a mixture of various ingredients to boost my dishes. It can include herbs, seeds, nuts, and others. Citrus zest play a key role in my niacs because Sébastien and I love the fragrance and punch they bring to a wide variety of dishes, from starters, main to dessert, including our Gargouillou.
This is how we came up with a brand new tool called “Le Moulin”, that can grind an amazing range of ingredients including candied citrus zests, in order to boost dishes with unique blends of fragrance and textures. Le Moulin is a fantastic tool that grinds various ingredients at once, to create instant “niacs” according to your mood and inspiration.
Here is my recipe for the perfect candied citrus zest, a key player in our Bras cuisine. This is also a great idea to use those peel whenever you make orange juice.
Try to grind these zests with other spices, herbs or dried ingredients, and you will be amazed by the magic it brings to salads, main dishes, soups, desserts, icecreams, and even drinks!
750 g citrus (oranges or any other citrus)
300 cl. or 1,5 cup water
5 tbsp (70 g) granulated sugar
Candying the zests
Using a peeler, zest 2 in.(6 cm) strips from the fruit.
Trim the bitter white inner skin.
Boil 16 zests in a saucepan with the sugar and water.
Simmer until you have a thick syrup. Keep th heat low to avoid caramelization.
When the syrup has thickened, removed the candied zests.
Drying the zests
Remove the syrup that sticks to the candied fruit by sliding them between your fingers.
Set the zests side by side, skins facing up, on a slightly buttered sheet.
Place in a 300 °F (150 °C) oven 20 minutes.
The zests should be soft when they come out of the oven.
Do not let them caramelize.
Arrange them on a cold surface.
Cover them immediately with a baking sheet to keep them from curling.
Once cool, the zests should be as brittle as glass. Keep them dry in a tightly sealed container with a silica-gel packet.