How to make Candied Citrus Peels

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In preparation for Christmas, my daughter has program in her school this Thursday, and there will be some musicals (related to Christmas) performed by the kids in her school. She is participating. I update how it turned out. As for Christmas baking, I am planning to make some cookies, breads and cake along with my usual Christmas specials from my home town. For all those Christmas baking, I would like to have some candied lemon and orange peel in hand. So decide to make some candied citrus peel, which I can use it in my bakes.
In our backward we have lemon tree, which after 7 years has started bearing lemons. Even though the lemons are not as big as store bought ones but it is really juicy. The outer covering is very thin and is full of juice. You only need two small lemons to make enough drink for 4 people. During one harsh winter it even died, hubby want to remove it, I told him to wait until summer, and it came back with full force. I have stopped buying lemon from the store for the last two months, and I made candied lemon peel with these lemons. So it is extra special as it is homegrown. I know what we added is fresh made with just plucked lemons.

The candied orange peel were made with navel oranges, they are store bought. We have an orange tree too in the backyard, and it oranges that stay green, and not ripening. I don’t know what happened to them. Now winter is coming so getting ripe oranges will be long lost dream. During grocery shopping hubby brought five navel oranges and with 4 of them, I made candied orange peel. I found only little difference in making lemon and orange peel. My lemon has very thin peel and I need blanch them only for 2minutes whereas for orange I need to blanch them for 5 minutes. After blanching both peels three times, and drain the water you used for blanching every time, and also rinse them with water. Finally boil sugar and water; add blanched peel and let it simmer for about 90 minutes with occasional stirring in between. Finally when sugar syrup thickens and peels become transparent, remove from the heat and dry first for few minutes and then dredge in sugar so that it can get its classy look and also it won’t stick each other.
You can enjoy them as such by dipping in the chocolate, or morning smoothie or oatmeal or add to baked goods. It use is endless, try it only you need peel, water and sugar. Worth all the efforts, you can make sure they are superior in quality then any store bought peel.



How to make Candied Citrus Peels

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Serving size: May vary

Home made fresh lemon and orange peel, you can make any citrus fruit peel like this way.
For Candied lemon peel
  • 6 lemons (I used small lemon, if it medium use 4)
  • 2 cup sugar+ 3 tablespoon
For candied orange peel
  • 4 navel oranges
  • 1 ½ cup sugar + 3 tablespoon
  • 4 cup water for making sugar syrup
  1. Slice the lemons( oranges) into four quarters lengthwise.
  2. Peel the lemon/orange flesh away from the peels. Reserve for another use.
  3. With a small, sharp-edged spoon or melon scoop to scrape the tough fibrous parts off of the inner peel, leaving a thin layer of white left behind on the peel.
  4. Slice the peels into thin strips.
  5. Alternatively, for thinner and daintier decorative peels, you can use a serrated peeler to scrape yellow strips from the exterior of the lemon peel. Cut those peels into thin slices.
  6. Place the peels into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil for 2 minutes.
  7. Drain the peels in a colander.
  8. Cover with water again. Bring to a boil for another 2 minutes then drain again in a colander. The boil and drain process helps to cook out any bitter flavor from the peels. You can boil and drain up to three times
  9. When you're finished boiling and draining, in a sauce pan add 3cups of water along with 2 cups of sugar. Stir with a whisk while the water heats, till all of the sugar is dissolved.
  10. Add peels to the saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.
  11. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Let the peels simmer for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Different sized peels will take different amounts of time to cook. The peels are ready when they're transparent and easy to bite through.
  12. Drain the peels. If you want to, you can strain the peels through a mesh strainer, letting the liquid stream into a jar. The leftover lemon/orange flavored simple syrup can be used to flavor drinks and cocktails. It will be thick syrup, and sugar crystals may collect in the jar over time. You can reconstitute the syrup by adding water and stirring over moderate heat if the syrup becomes overly thick.
  13. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the peels out in an even layer on the parchment. Let the peels cool for about 3 minutes till tacky to the touch.
  14. In small bowl add 3 tablespoon of sugar. Dip the peels into the sugar till coated. Sugar coating the peels will add sweetness and help to keep them from sticking together.
  15. Alternatively, you may let the peels dry as-is for a deeper yellow /orangecolor and a gel-like texture.
  16. Place the peels back on the parchment. Let them dry for 2-3 hours longer if they are sugar coated and overnight if they are not.
  17. Enjoy by dipping them into chocolate or in bakes.
  18. For candied orange peel
  19. All the steps are same except blanching is done for 5 minutes intervals.
  20. Also amount of water used for sugar syrup for cooking orange peel is 4 cups and used only 11/2cup sugar to make candied orange peels from 4 navel oranges.
Candied lemon peel recipe adapted from TheShika

Copyright ©2013 Zesty South Indian Kitchen by Swathi( Ambujom Saraswathy) All Rights Reserved

I am linking this recipe to  Hearth and Soul Blog Hop and also to Favorite recipes event: Christmas recipes.  hosted here.

I am linking this recipe to Tasty Tuesdaybloghop
If you are making any Christmas dishes please link it to Favorite recipes Event: Christmas Recipes.


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  1. says

    I have been wanting to make this for the longest time. I just ordered some fancy sugar from King Arthur Flour just for the Candied Citrus Peels.

  2. Meena Kumar says

    I still have the candied peels I made last year.The homemade ones are really good allee even though it is little time consuming.
    Did u know the water in which citrus is boiled is a natural insect repellent for the yard,to keep ants and other crawly insects at bay.. know its too late now :)

  3. says

    To be honest I don’t know abt this..awesum luking peels dear..need lots of patience to cook like this..truly I can’t ..hehehhe.hope ur daughter loved it..

  4. says

    Cooking with homegrown fruits and vegetables is a satisfying experience in itself…
    The candied lemon and orange peels look very good..Nice recipe

  5. says

    It definitely very useful to have a jar of candied citrus peels in hand around this time of the year. yours sounds delicious ! Thank you so much for sharing at Tasty Tuesday. I am featuring your candied peels this week.

  6. says

    Your candied peel looks beautiful, Swathi! It must be wonderful to have your own lemon tree. We use chopped candied peel in many British Christmas recipes but it rarely looks as beautiful as yours. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I hope your daughter enjoys the school performance :-)

  7. says

    Nice useful post Swathi, I think I’ll suck on these candied peels as such and finish half of them before using it for baking..