December 21, 2023

Making and Enjoying Candied Citrus Peel

Making and Enjoying Candied Citrus Peel

I love citrus, and each winter save most citrus peel for Donald to candy. This is a straight forward process, and worth the effort.

The key is to remove the white pith of any citrus peel you have on hand, then anything of the various types of citrus fruit should work. In recent years we've candied peels from oranges, lemons, grapefruits, whole kumquats, and tangerines (shown) as well as pomelo (shown). 

Candied citrus peels, with their vibrant colors and intense bursts of zesty sweetness, offer a versatile treat beyond just decorating Christmas cakes. Delicious on their own as a nibble with a bit of chocolate or handful of nuts, and satisfying in baked goods.  Here are 5 ways to use candied citrus peel in your everyday cooking.

1. Traditional Dessert Ingredient

    • Chocolate:  Enrobe citrus peels in dark, milk, or white chocolate for a luxurious bite-sized confection. Artfully cut and arranged peel makes an outstanding visual and flavorful element added to chocolate desserts.
    • Cookies and Cakes:  chopped peels add a bright citrus punch to chocolate chip cookies, muffins, scones, and pound cakes.
    • Quick Breads:  elevate banana bread, carrot cake, or zucchini bread with a hint of orange or lemon.
    • Pies and Tarts:  scattered over fruit fillings or incorporated into streusel toppings, candied peels create a delightful contrast.

2. Morning Brightener

    • Yogurt or Oatmeal:  ficed peels add a burst of sweetness and a surprising textural twist to your breakfast bowl.
    • Pancakes and Waffles:  sdd them to the batter for a citrusy surprise in every bite.
    • Coffee or Tea:  Infuse hot beverages with a subtle citrus aroma and flavor. (Remember Serge in Beverly Hills Cop with the bit of lemon?)

3. Unanticipated Savory Component

    • Salads:  chopped peels add a sweet-tart counterpoint to leafy greens and creamy dressings.
    • Marinades and Sauces:  infuse chicken, fish, or pork with a hint of citrus for a unique flavor dimension.
    • Condiments:  Add a twist to chutneys, salsas, or relishes with candied citrus zest. Candied sliced kumquats were a fabulous pairing with salmon.

4. Simple Snacking

    • Candied citrus mix: Toss them with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for a healthy and flavorful trail mix.
    • On their own: Enjoy candied peels as a satisfyingly sweet and tangy snack, perfect for indulging a citrus craving.

5. Bonus Tip

Don't forget the leftover syrup! Use it to glaze cakes, sweeten cocktails, or create a citrusy simple syrup for drizzling over pancakes or ice cream.


Tangerine peels simmering in sugar syrup in a stainless steel Windsor panDonald uses chopsticks to move pomelo peel, cooking in sugar syrup, into a sheet pan of granulated sugarCooked in sugar syrup and dredged in granulated sugar, orange peels dry and harden on a sheet pan.Liz slices a few pomelo peels to enjoy at breakfast