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Candied Citrus Peel Recipe

Candied orange, grapefruit, lemon, or lime peels are a less-common, sweet holiday treat that are both delicious and easy to make.

They make a stunning display when poured into Mason or candy jars, and those who are crafty can make a lovely gift of them by following these instructions at Martha Stewart’s website.


Required Tools

Fortunately, nothing unusual is needed for making candied citrus peel. Just grab a saucepan, cooling rack, a pastry brush, a slotted spoon, and – depending upon which preparation method you choose – either a vegetable peeler or a knife and a melon baller.

You’ll also need about 8 oranges, or 6 grapefruits, or 10 limes or lemons, plus 6+ cups of granulated sugar.

Candied Citrus Peel


Prep Method #1

This is the less-traditional but faster way to make candied citrus peel.

Use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of the citrus peel, trying to make each strip no less than 2 inches in length. (Reserve the fruit in air tight bags and eat within two or three days.)


Prep Method #2

This traditional method is a little more work, but results in a thicker finished food. With the knife, remove the two ends of the citrus fruit. Cut the fruit in half, lengthwise. On one end, carefully place about 1/2 inch of the tip of the knife between the fruit and the pith.

Repeat on the other end of the fruit, following the shape of the citrus. Keeping the peel in once piece, pull the fruit away from its peel, using your fingers. (Keep the peeled fruit in air tight bags and consume within two or three days.)

Dump the peel in the saucepan. Add water until the peel is covered. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Reduce heat and simmer orange, lemon, or lime peel for 20 minutes or grapefruit peel for 40 minutes.

Remove the peel with a slotted spoon and allow to soak in cold tap water until you can handle it comfortably.

Using the melon baller, scrape the white pith away from the peel. Be careful not to tear the peel. With the knife, cut the peel into strips measuring about 3/4 inch wide.



Pour 6 cups of granulated sugar in the saucepan. Pour 3 cups of water into the pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Stir occasionally until the sugar water boils, creating a syrup.

Pour the citrus strips into the pan.

Reduce the heat to low. Dip the pastry brush in cool tap water and use it to wash down sugar crystals that may appear on the sides of the saucepan. Simmer until the citrus strips are transluscent (about 40 minutes, depending upon how thick the peels are).

Candied Citrus Peel

Allow the citrus strips to cool in the sugar syrup for 3 to 12 hours. Using a slotted spoon, remove the citrus strips. Roll the strips in a bowl of sugar, then let them to dry on a cooling rack.


1 Comment
  1. Shari says

    I’m hoping I didn’t make a mistake. I bought some “Cuties” tangerines. The peel was such a beautiful color, I didn’t want to throw them away. I decided to make candied orange peels. After I simmered them for 20 minutes, I began removing the pith with my melon ball scooper. There was actually some flesh that looked like pumpkin purée that I removed, leaving just the skin, like a hide. Very thin.

    Please H E L P!

    I’m simmering the peels in the sugar syrup now but they look so thin compared to your picture. Was I not supposed to remove all the pithy flesh?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

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