If you're anything like our family, you probably eat a lot of citrus fruits around the holidays. Usually I don't mind throwing the peels away, but sometimes it's kind of a shame to toss something that can be so useful.
I often will toss some of the peels into a simmering pot of water with some cinnamon for a quick, all-natural air freshener. But my favorite way to use the peels, that my kids and friends ask for every December, is to cook them up into this gorgeous candied citrus peel recipe.
Though it's time consuming, the ingredients are extremely simple—only citrus peel, water, and sugar. And if I make a large batch, I usually have enough for snacking on it at home, and more to give as gifts.
It really is the most delicious way to recycle.
Candied Citrus Peel Recipe
My favorite way to use citrus peels that my kids and friends ask, is to cook them up into this gorgeous candied citrus peel recipe.
- citrus fruit such as lemons or oranges: 5-8 pieces of fruit
- granulated sugar: 2 1/2 cups
- dark chocolate: 6 ounces
- white chocolate: 6 ounces
Step 1: When making candied citrus peel, choose only one kind of citrus per batch to keep flavors from mixing. Use a sharp paring knife to neatly score the skin of each piece of fruit. Start at the stem end of each piece and carefully cut to the other end. Each cut ends up being about a 1/2-inch to an inch apart. For navel oranges, cut off the top and the bottom ends of the skins before scoring the skin.
Step 2: Peel the skin off the fruit into long wedges. Wrap the fruit in plastic wrap and refrigerate for another use.
Step 3: Place the skins into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain, and repeat the same process 5 times. You may want to repeat the process 6 or 7 times if you are making grapefruit peel (they tend to be more bitter).
***At this point, if necessary, you can refrigerate the peels to finish the recipe the following day.***
Step 4: Take each wedge of skin, and with a sharp paring knife, carefully slice away the pith and discard so that only the outside skin remains. The part you keep should be about as thick as cardstock.
Step 5: In a medium saucepan, stir together 2 cups of sugar with 2 cups of water until the sugar dissolves. Add the peels. Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to medium low, until the liquid reaches a low simmer. Let simmer for 45 minutes.
Step 6: Pour remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into a low sided bowl. Place a cooling rack in a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Set aside.
Step 7: Working in batches, remove a few peels with a slotted spoon, and drain on a cooling rack for about 5-10 seconds. Place a few peels in the sugar, and roll in the sugar to coat. Place sugar coated candies onto a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining peels. Allow to dry for 4 hours, or overnight. Place in an airtight container, and serve within a week.
Step 8: If desired, melt the two kinds of chocolate in small microwave containers in 20 second intervals, stirring well after each interval. Dip the candied peels into the chocolate. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets and allow the chocolate to set. Serve within a day or two.