Make your own candied mixed peel at home, with any citrus fruit you have on hand and just sugar and water. Candied peel is a great addition to baked goods, from hot cross buns to mincemeat or garnishes for cakes and pies. This is a really simple recipe, with no drying or other time-intensive steps needed. Just juice, peel, and cook the fruit in a simple syrup.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Fruit: we've done a blend of both lemon and orange for this recipe, because they're so easy to come by. You could do any kind of citrus fruit, though. Grapefruit, pomelo, and blood orange are all great.
- Sugar: you can use either plain white sugar or raw cane sugar. We don't recommend brown sugar because the flavour is too strong, and liquid sweeteners won't candy the fruit properly.
Step 1: juice the fruits, then place the peels in water and boil until softened.
Step 2: carefully remove any white from the peels.
Step 3: return the peels to a pot and cook with the sugar syrup.
Step 4: transfer the candied peel to a jar and store until use.
- Use unwaxed fruit: organic fruit will work best, since you're using the peel, and won't be coated in paraffin or anything that's really hard to wash off.
- Scrub the fruit: wash the fruit well with hot water beforehand to remove any waxes that might be present.
- Keep the juice: this is a lower-waste recipe, because you're juicing the fruit before peeling. Lemon juice lasts for over a week in the fridge and you can drink the orange juice right away.
How to Store
The peel keeps for a month in the fridge so you can make a new batch every once in a while to have on hand, especially during holiday baking. We don't recommend freezing candied peel.
How to Use Mixed Peel
The most popular ways to use candied orange peel or other candied citrus is in baking. Think hot cross buns, fruit cake, cookies - but you can also add it to cocktails, as a beautiful decoration to any baked goods, or just dip it in dark chocolate for a simple dessert.
Use the syrup that the peel is soaked in as an addition to cocktails and other drinks, or as a special simple syrup for soaking cakes. Anywhere you'd normally use simple syrup, you can use this instead. (And it's even better.)
What's the difference been candied and crystallized citrus?
While the terms are often used interchangeably, candied fruit is left in syrup and crystallized is rolled in sugar. In common use, candied peel is very often seen rolled in sugar, but by leaving it in syrup you need less time and energy to make it.
Is candied peel the same as mixed peel?
Candied peel and mixed peel are the same thing, candied citrus peels. It's commonly used for baking, especially around Christmas.
What is candied peel made from?
Candied peel is made with citrus fruits, sugar, and water. Boiling the peels in a sugar syrup preserved and sweetens them for later use.
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Candied Mixed Peel
- Measuring cups or a digital kitchen scale
- Large pot
- Small saucepan
- 3 oranges halved horizontally
- 2 lemons halved horizontally
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups water plus more for boiling
- Juice lemons and oranges and set juice aside to use in cooking, salad dressings, baking, or to drink.
- Place citrus peels in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it has reached a rapid boil, remove the pot from the heat and drain the fruit, discarding the water. Repeat this process a second time. The peels should be soft at this point.
- Once peels are cool enough to handle, gently fillet the flesh and pith away from the zest (getting as much pith as possible). Note: This is sometimes easier if you cut the peels into smaller pieces. Compost the pith and set peel aside. Continue with remaining peels.
- To a small saucepan, add peels, sugar, and 1 ½ cups (375 ml) water. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until peels look slightly translucent, approximately 45 minutes to an 1 hour. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Store peel and syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.