We use citrus fruits in so many ways to make juices, salads, desserts and various sweet as well as savoury dishes, but most often the only part of the peel that is used is the zest and the rest is just discarded. Did you know that these can be candied to make delicious treats instead of going to a waste? 🙂 While looking for new ways of using up mandarin oranges I came across Candied Citrus Peel recipes and this was something that I had to try!! I’ve made them with orange, lemon, mandarin and even grapefruit peel!
You can have these delicious candies as a snack by itself or add them to your baked goodies. 🙂 And why not use them to add an impressive look to your desserts and sweets? I’m thinking about coating them with chocolate next time. That’ll taste so heavenly!
- 1 cup citrus peel (orange, mandarin, lemon, grapefruit)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- About 2/3 cup water
- Cut the citrus peel into strips and if possible remove the pith (white part) with the help of a knife. This is easier for grapefruit peel which is thick but for thinner peels like lemons you make leave the white part.
- First place some water along with the peel strips in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for few minutes. Then drain the water and repeat this process 2 – 3 times till the bitter taste of the peel is gone. Make sure you drain the water each time or else you’ll end up with bitter candies. It won’t harm to taste a piece to check for bitter taste before moving on to the next step. 🙂
- In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar with about 2/3 cup of water until boiling. Add the peel to this syrup and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The syrup will reduce considerably and thicken.
- Remove the peel strips one by one with the help of a fork when they start becoming translucent. Another way to check if it’s ready is to place a drop of the syrup in a small bowl of cold water and check if you can make a soft ball. I usually turn the heat to minimum when I start removing the peel strips and place them on a rack to drain. If you allow them cool in the saucepan they’ll stick together, so make sure you remove the strips quickly once you turn off the heat.
- Allow the candied peel to drain and cool on the wire rack. When cool enough to handle, coat each individual strips with granulated sugar. You can do this by rolling each one in a bowl of sugar or simply by placing few strips in small disposable plastic bag with some sugar. Then shake the bag till the peel strips no longer stick to each other.
- Place the candied peel strips back on the rack or on a tray lined with parchment paper and allow to dry for several hours or overnight.
- I usually don’t have the patience to wait for hours for these to dry. 🙂 If you are impatient like me, here’s what you can do to fasten the drying process.
- Once the peel strips are ready, remove them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or on a wire rack that goes into your oven. Put it in the oven at 100 degrees C for about 5 – 10 minutes. If you’ve placed the peel strips on a rack make sure there’s a tray below it as the syrup will drain. Also, keep an eye on the candied peels to check if they are getting too dried.
- Remove the tray or rack from the oven. Once they are cool enough to handle, coat the strips with granulated sugar. If you feel the candied peel strips are not dry enough, leave them out to dry at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Your candied citrus peel is now ready! 🙂 This might seem to be a very lengthy process but it is in fact very easy to make. I have written the steps in details for beginners like me who would like to try this.
Candied citrus peels should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a dry place. You can also keep these refrigerated in a plastic container for 1 – 2 months; if you can stop yourself from eating them all! 🙂 For those who love chocolate, dip these candies in melted chocolate and refrigerate until it hardens.