How to Make Candied Citrus Peel

  • 01 of 10

    Peel the Oranges

    candied peel
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    For easily printable instructions, see the Candied Citrus Peel recipe. I also have a video showing how to make candied citrus peel if you prefer to watch the process step-by-step.


    Note that this recipe is extremely adaptable to many citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits all work well. This photo guide will use oranges as an example, but you can substitute other citrus fruits if you desire. The general rule I go by is to use 8.5 ounces of water and 4.5 ounces of sugar per orange,...MORE and I count a small lemon as half of an orange, while an orange is half of a grapefruit.


    Begin by using a knife or a citrus peeler to score the peels of four oranges into quarters. Peel the oranges carefully, trying to keep the peels intact as much as possible. Set the peeled oranges aside and reserve for another use.


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  • 02 of 10

    Cut Away the Pith

    candied peel
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    Using a sharp knife, cut away the bitter white pith from the underside of the peels. The remaining peel should be approximately 1/8” thick. Do not worry if small amounts of white pith remain, as long as most of the peels are scraped clean.


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  • 03 of 10

    Slice the Peels

    candied peel
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    Slice the peels into long, thin strips approximately 1/2-inch wide.


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  • 04 of 10

    Boil the Sugar Syrup

    candied peel
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    Combine 4.25 cups of water and 2.5 cups of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and heat, uncovered, until the sugar boils for 5 minutes.


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  • 05 of 10

    Cook the Peels in the Sugar Syrup

    candied peel
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    Add the strips of peel and turn the heat down to low, until the mixture is just at a simmer. Cook, uncovered and simmering, until the syrup reduces to a quarter of its original volume (the syrup will barely cover the tops of the peels in a medium-large saucepan). Do not stir during this process, as that might cause the formation of large sugar crystals. The simmering will take approximately 2 hours.


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  • 06 of 10

    Drain the Peels

    candied peels
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cool, drain the peels in a colander. At this point, turn your oven to 200 degrees.


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  • 07 of 10

    Roll Peels in Granulated Sugar

    candied peel
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    Place about one cup of sugar in a small bowl. Dredge the peels in the sugar until they are coated, trying to avoid getting large clumps of sugar on the peels.


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  • 08 of 10

    Dry the Sugared Peels

    candied peel
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    Place the sugar-coated peels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the baking sheet in 200-degree warm oven and allow them to dry out. This should take approximately one hour, but check them every 20 minutes to ensure that they are not burning or cooking in any way. Alternately, they can be left to sit overnight on a drying rack instead of placed in the oven.


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  • 09 of 10

    Dip the Peels in Chocolate

    candied peel
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    Once peels are completely dry, scrape off any excess sugar clumps. The peels are excellent as they are, or if desired, the peels can be dipped in chocolate. You can use milk, dark, or white chocolate (or a combination), and dip them either partially or completely. For best results, temper the chocolate so that your candy will be shiny and stable at room temperature. Dip the peels using your fingers (if dipping partially) or dipping forks (if dipping completely). Place the chocolate-covered peels...MORE on a baking sheet covered with parchment, and refrigerate the peels to set the chocolate.


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  • 10 of 10

    Serve and Enjoy the Candied Peel

    candied peel
    (c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

    Candied citrus peel makes a delicious snack by itself, or dipped in chocolate. It is also an excellent ingredient in many candy and baking recipes. Store excess peel in an airtight bag or plastic container, and keep it in a dry location. It should last for weeks at room temperature.