Forget the juicy insides. The peel is where citrus's true flavor resides, as these svelte candies prove. Blanching does away with any bitterness, leaving behind only a lingering lilt. The sugary coating and charming wrapping increase the confection's appeal. Get the packaging how-to for Candied Citrus Peels.


Recipe Summary

Makes 2 1/2 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Using a paring knife, make 6 slits along curve from top to bottom of each citrus fruit, cutting through peel but not into fruit. Using your fingers, gently remove peel. Reserve fruit for another use. Slice each piece of peel lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Using a paring knife, remove excess pith from each strip and discard.

  • Place strips in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat twice.

  • Bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Stop stirring. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Add strips to boiling syrup, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until strips are translucent, about 1 hour. Remove from heat, and let strips cool in syrup. (Strips in syrup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks.)

  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer strips to a wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Wipe off excess syrup with paper towels, then roll strips in sugar. Arrange in a single layer on a wire rack, and let dry for at least 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes

To make candied citrus peels for baking, skip the final sugaring in step 4. To make candied citrus slices for garnishes, slice the whole citrus fruit crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, and proceed with step 2, skipping the final sugaring. Sugared peels will keep, covered at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.

Reviews (7)

71 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 17
  • 4 star values: 31
  • 3 star values: 17
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: Unrated
I made these for my Christmas gift tins in 2009.... delicious! Tasted just like my mom always made when we were growing up. They're so easy to do and always seem to impress people, which is a great combo! I dipped my candied peels halfway into good quality dark chocolate, which made me like them even more.
Rating: Unrated
My mother made these last year with great success! A friend was visiting from France at the time and she also made them when she returned home. I came back to the site to check on the recipe for this year's batches (can't seem to find the recipe) Plan to try this with pink grapefruit and blood orange if we can find them. We also did them dipped in chocolate and they just disappeared! Oh I just found the label - what a great idea! We'll see if they last long enough to wrap any up!
Rating: Unrated
I loved making these, the peels are so pretty! And what's even better is that they tasted great. Unfortunately we didn't have any oranges, only lemons and grapefruits, so I stuck with those, there's always next time I guess. I'm intrigued to hear that the tangerines and limes were good as well. In the end I did spend a fair amount of time removing the pith, but it was worth it. Next time I can't wait to try dipping them in chocolate!
Rating: Unrated
Awesome! I'm making them right now and my grapefruit skins were so thick and I was wondering if they'd be bitter. We eat a lot of grapefruit and oranges in the winter so we've beeen saving them for the last week in the fridge in a baggie.
Rating: Unrated
If the peels tase bitter, it means possibly that you didn't remove enough pith (white fleshy part attached to peel). Try this again sometime when you have enough time on your hands to allow this procedure to be done. I doubled the recipe, and used tangerine (hardly any pith), pink grapefruit, lemon, orange, and lime. Good luck!
Rating: Unrated
i couldn't get my orange peels to turn translucent although my grapefruit peels did. also, i found them to be bitter, although my parents absolutely loved them.
Rating: Unrated
When ready to serve, you can melt various kinds of chocolate separately, white, dark, and milk chocolates, and dip one end of the candied peel then rest on Parchment to harden for a few minutes. Not to be done in a hot kitchen though! Then place dipped peels in the timy paper cups. It adds a pizazz if you box them up to give away or take to a relatives' house during the holidays. We have been making this for decades in our family.