Candied Citrus Peel is easy to make at home! Just grab a vegetable peeler and your favorite citrus fruits.
One of things that impresses me the most about good restaurants and good chefs is the way they use every bit of their ingredients. Veggie scraps are saved for making vegetable stock. Cheese rinds are saved as an addition to a future soup. Seriously, very little ever goes to waste in a professional kitchen…which always inspires me to do more with my ingredients at home. As oranges are a popular winter fruit, my wife and I usually end up eating an orange every day for lunch. (Yeah, yeah…I know the old saying about an apple a day, but I think fall apples taste WAY better than winter apples!)
The other day, I decided to start saving the peels from the oranges to make candied peels rather than throw the peel out. Yeah, you can candy the peels and either eat them plain or use them as a garnish for a cake or other dessert. Seriously–you can eat citrus peels. And they taste amazing!
These candied citrus peels taste remarkably similar to gummy candy like those Sweet Tart Gummy Bunnies that show up in the supermarket candy aisles around Easter. Except I think these taste even better because they’re homemade! And honestly, candied citrus peels are really not difficult to make at all…and they come from peels which you probably would have thrown away. So start saving those peels and candy them instead!
These candied citrus peels are delicious by themselves. I may or may not have eaten these for dessert last night. I prefer them tossed in sugar, but you can omit the sugar coating and instead dip them in melted chocolate. Both ways work and are sure to impress your family and friends (if there are any left)!
How to make Candied Citrus Peel
- peels from oranges lemons, limes, and/or grapefruits, cut into strips about 1/4″ wide by 3″ long
- ¾ cup water plus more for boiling in Steps 2 and 3
- 2½ Tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar plus more for finishing
- chocolate for dipping (if desired)
- Using a paring knife, carefully remove as much of the pith (the white flesh underneath the peel) as possible. A little bit is fine, but too much will make the candied peels taste bitter.
- Place the peels in a sauce pan and add enough cold water to cover the peels. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Pour out the water and again fill the pan with enough water to cover the peels. Cover and bring to a boil. Pour out the water and reserve the peels.
- In a separate sauce pan, combine 3/4 cup water with corn syrup and granulated sugar. Stir until combined and bring this mixture to boil.
- Add peels to this mixture and stir until well coated. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
- Remove the peels from the syrup and either dip them in melted chocolate or toss them in granulated sugar.
- Lay peels on drying rack and allow to dry overnight at room temperature.
Tip: Store any leftover candied peels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several days. They may last longer, but I’ve never figured it out since these disappear too fast around my house!