Candied Lemon Peel Recipe -
Candied Lemon Peel Recipe

Candied Lemon Peel

Recipe by  

"This is a good way to use up lemon rind and it goes good with coffee or on cake. It really does taste like candy, and you can do this to ANY citrus fruit. If you use oranges you can add brandy, cloves or other spices the mixture. Chop it up and put it in cookies, or just eat it by itself."

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Original recipe makes 15 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 40 mins


  1. Cut lemons into slices about 1/4 inch thick and remove the fruit pulp. Cut the rings in half so the peels are in long strips.
  2. Bring water and lemon peel to a boil in a small pan. Drain water, and repeat with fresh cold water. Repeat the boiling step three times (see Editor's Note). Drain and set peels aside.
  3. Combine 2 cups fresh water with 2 cups sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir in citrus peels; simmer until the white pith is translucent. Store peels in syrup, refrigerated, to keep them soft, or allow them to dry. Toss dry candied peels in additional sugar and store airtight at room temperature.
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  • Editor's Note:
  • If you use grapefruit peel, change the water and boil the peels about five times to remove the bitterness. For orange peel, one boiling is usually enough.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 03, 2011

So I should clear up a few of the problems here... This was a Christmas favorite when I was a kid. My mother used both orange and lemon peels, and I learned from her. Regarding the bitterness: This comes from the oils in the peel, not from the pith, which is virtually tasteless. To reduce bitterness in the peels, drain off the boiling water, refill with cold water and bring to a boil again. The more you repeat this step, the less bitter it will be. Be careful, though, because too much boiling will render your candy tasteless. 2-3 times is usually enough. Test by tasting. I don't remove the pith; it acts as an absorbent, soaking up the sugar syrup and giving my peels body. For that reason, I use navel oranges or thick-skinned lemons (like the huge ones that grow everywhere in Southern California). I allow the candy to dry out until it's tacky, then toss it with sugar to finish it. (You can use colored and/or flavored sugar too.) This allows me to store it dry in containers without it getting sticky. You can dry it in a cool oven (200 degrees or less) or simply let it sit out for a few hours. Also, try adding finely ground ginger or nutmeg to the sugar (for orange peels). Or dip one end in melted chocolate and let cool (excellent with orange or lemon peels). Or dip one end in thinned royal frosting and let dry (experiment with different flavors). There is no end to the variations that are possible. Let the kids come up with thier own!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 21, 2012

If you have ever eaten commercial candied fruit peel, you will notice that they do not remove the pith! Do like several others suggested and blanch the peel in fresh water at least twice, for 10 minutes each time. This removes the bitterness and tenderizes the peel. When it's done enough, a toothpick should easily pierce the peel. Then make the the syrup with fresh water and boil for 5 minutes. Add peels and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until translucent. Drain and let dry several hours before rolling in sugar to coat.


49 Ratings

Jun 27, 2006

My favorite candied citrus peel is grapefruit, where you actually WANT the white part. To avoid bitterness, bring cold water and peel to a rolling boil. Drain. Repeat. For orange peel, I might do this one or two times; for grapefruit, 6 or 7. Taste it. When the peel is tender, cook it in the sugar syrup. It should be almost translucent. It keeps for weeks (months?) refrigerated – store it in syrup to keep it from drying out. I love this stuff. I candy my own orange & lemon peels for fruitcakes and other desserts.

Mar 30, 2009

I didn't have a problem at all with this recipe, and the lemon simple syrup that is left over is wonderful for lemon drop cocktails! In fact, I'm now using this recipe for making the syrup and not the other way around! Anyway, I prefer my candied peel to be dry and crunchy. So I leave it out in the air for a few days before storing it in an airtight container. While "curing", I shake the peels around a few times, to help separate them and keep them from turning into big blobs of candy. Once they're fully dry, they don't stick together unless they get damp. I also don't store mine in the refrigerator, but in the cupboard. Some people complained of bitterness. It is probably more to do with the lemons themselves and not with the recipe. The Meyer lemons I used are too thin-peeled to really get all of the pith off, and they came out fine. I just tried one more method for getting the peel in thin strips, without the rind. I used a citrus peeler (mine is attached to my zester, but if your zester doesn't have a peeler attached, you want the kind that bartenders use). I peeled the lemon in one long thin strip, spiraling around the lemon. If you have a spiral of peel left over, you can use your fingernail to peel it off. Make sure you chop the strips up a little bit, so that they don't get hopelessly tangled during the boiling process. I only chopped my pile into thirds, which is enough to keep most of the strips fairly long (if you want it that way) without tangling.

May 03, 2006

Delicious! I used a veggie peeler to get only the yellow portion of the lemon peel. This resulted in tender strips of peel. I minced the finished candied lemon peel and added it to the Lemon Icing recipe from this site. Yummy!!

Feb 23, 2010

Perfect! I peeled the skin with a vegetable peeler. I used 4 small lemons (could have used 5 or 6 with just the peelings). No pith to peel. Not bitter at all. I boiled the lemons just once for 5 minutes. The key for me was the second boil in the sugar water. The directions state to boil until 'transparent'. This took about 20-30 minutes and the end result was evident as I tasted the lemon at the 10 minute boil mark and it definitely was not ready. The lemon peel was sticky so I dipped it in sugar and that made it easier to chop.

Dec 15, 2003

In a hurry making a gingerbread cake for the holidays and stumbled across this recipe ... it was quick and easy and garnished the cake perfectly ..... with a lil lemon curd sauce on the side . It was wonderful.

Dec 17, 2007

A very good recipe. I used orange peel and rolled in granulated sugar afterwards and dipped in milk chocolate.


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  • Calories
  • 108 kcal
  • 5%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 29 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 0.1 g
  • < 1%
  • Fiber
  • 1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 0.3 g
  • < 1%
  • Sodium
  • 4 mg
  • < 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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