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Candied Citrus Peel

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 3 cups

Servings: 24

Citrus with thicker peels will produce the best candied results. (Very thin peel—from limes, for example—turns leathery when candied.) Blanching peels multiple times tames their bitter flavor. You’ll likely have left over syrup after making this recipe; brush it over cake or use it in cocktails.

Read the Test Kitchen tip to understand the anatomy of a citrus peel, and learn more ways to use citrus peels.


  • 3 cups citrus peel (from about 4 large oranges, 2 large grapefruit, 8 lemons, or 5 Minneolas; see below for preparation instructions)
  • 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 35
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 0
  • Fat (g): 0
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 0
  • Carbohydrates (g): 9
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 0


  • Using a sharp knife, cut the fruit lengthwise into eighths; then cut off the zest along with a thin layer of the white pith. Slice the peels into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Save the fruit for another use.

    Put the sliced peels in a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and blanch for 5 minutes.

    Drain the peels, cover with fresh water, bring to a boil, and blanch again for 5 minutes. Repeat once more for a total of three blanchings.

    In the same saucepan, combine 1-1/2 cups of the sugar and 1 cup of water; bring to a boil over high heat.

    Add the peels and reduce the heat to low. Let the peels simmer very gently—the mixture should be just slightly bubbling—until they begin to look translucent, 45 to 60 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that the peels candy evenly and don’t burn.

    Drain the peels, reserving the syrup for another use. Set a rack over a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Put the remaining 1 cup of sugar in a bowl. Roll the peels in the sugar, shake them in a sieve to remove any excess, and spread them on the rack; let dry for 5 to 6 hours. Once fully dry, store the candied peels in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • Sjmont | 12/04/2014

    Very good, but if not dry enough after 5 or6 hours on the rack, place in oven on rack at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes

  • lovescooking | 12/01/2012

    You must try this. Complex, interesting and very yummy.

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