Homemade Candied Peel Recipe

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Don’t let those leftover citrus peels go to waste! This delightful Homemade Candied Peel recipe unlocks the hidden potential of lemon, orange, or grapefruit rinds, transforming them into a sweet, versatile, and oh-so-treasured ingredient. Candied peel is a wonderful way to reduce food waste and add a burst of citrusy sunshine to countless desserts and treats.

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 2-3 days

Homemade Candied Peel Recipe

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Homemade Candied Peel Recipe Ingredients:

Transform leftover citrus rinds into a sweet and versatile treat with this Homemade Candied Peel recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Citrus of Choice:

    • Citrus Rinds (from oranges, lemons, grapefruits, or a combination) – Use leftover rinds from juiced citrus fruits. Choose unwaxed fruits for best results. (around 2-3 citrus fruits)
  • Sweetening Symphony:

    • Sugar (2 cups granulated sugar) – Sugar creates the candied texture and sweetness.
    • Water (1 cup) – Water dissolves the sugar and creates a syrup.
  • Optional Flavor Boosters:

    • Honey (1/4 cup) – Honey adds a subtle floral sweetness and depth of flavor (can substitute with brown sugar for a richer taste).
    • Vanilla Extract (1 teaspoon) – Vanilla extract adds a touch of warm vanilla aroma.
    • Spices (optional) – A pinch of cinnamon, cloves, or star anise can add a warm and festive touch.

Homemade Candied Peel Instructions:

Turning leftover citrus rinds into delightful candied treats is easier than you think! Follow these steps for a burst of citrusy sweetness:

  1. Prepare the Citrus Rinds: Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the peel from your citrus fruits. Try to remove the peel in thick strips, leaving as much white pith behind as possible (the pith can be bitter).

  2. Cut the Peel into Pieces: Once removed, cut the citrus peel into thin strips or small batons, depending on your preference.

  3. Blanch the Peel: In a saucepan, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the chopped citrus peel and blanch for 2-3 minutes. This helps remove some of the bitterness from the peel. Drain the blanched peel in a colander and rinse with cold water.

  4. Prepare the Sugar Syrup: In a clean saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves completely.

  5. Optional Flavor Boosters: If using, add honey, vanilla extract, and any desired spices to the simmering sugar syrup.

  6. Add the Citrus Peel: Add the blanched and drained citrus peel to the simmering sugar syrup. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for about 45-60 minutes, or until the peel becomes translucent and the syrup thickens slightly. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.

  7. Drying the Candied Peel: There are two options for drying the candied peel:

    • On a Wire Rack: Transfer the candied peel to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Let it drain and dry completely for several hours or overnight, until the candied peel is no longer sticky.
    • In the Oven (Optional): For a quicker drying method, preheat your oven to the lowest setting (around 175°F or 80°C). Spread the candied peel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dry in the oven for 1-2 hours, or until the candied peel is no longer sticky and slightly firm to the touch.
  8. Store and Enjoy: Once completely dry, store your homemade candied peel in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Homemade Candied Peel Serving Suggestions:

This versatile candied citrus peel can be enjoyed in a variety of ways:

  • Snacking Sensation: Enjoy candied peel on its own as a sweet and tangy snack.
  • Baking Delight: Incorporate chopped candied peel into cakes, muffins, cookies, or breads for a burst of citrusy flavor and texture.
  • Yogurt and Granola Topping: Add chopped candied peel to yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, or granola bowls for a touch of sweetness and a delightful citrus zing.
  • Cocktail Garnish: Elevate your cocktails with a twist of homemade candied citrus peel.
  • Salad Surprise: Finely chopped candied peel can add a surprising and delightful touch to a green salad.
  • Cheese Platter Partner: Candied peel pairs beautifully with various cheeses, offering a sweet and savory contrast on a cheese platter.

Why Homemade Candied Peel Is a Great Leftover Recipe:

Homemade Candied Peel is a champion for reducing food waste and transforming leftover ingredients into a delightful treat. Here’s why it’s a fantastic recipe for leftover citrus rinds:

  • Second Life for Citrus Rinds: This recipe gives leftover citrus rinds a starring role, transforming them into a sweet and flavorful candied treat.
  • Budget-Friendly and Sustainable: Using leftover ingredients minimizes waste and creates a delicious homemade treat without breaking the bank.
  • Flavor Customization: Feel free to experiment with different citrus fruits or combinations! Orange and lemon peels are classic choices, but grapefruit or even blood orange rinds can add unique flavor profiles.
  • Gifts from the Kitchen: Homemade candied peel makes a lovely and thoughtful homemade gift for friends and family. Package them in a decorative jar or tin for a personal touch.
  • Year-Round Treat: Citrus fruits are available year-round, making candied peel a delightful sweet treat you can enjoy any time of year.

So the next time you find yourself with leftover citrus rinds, don’t toss them in the compost! Embrace the magic of leftovers and create a batch of Homemade Candied Peel. It’s a testament to resourceful cooking, a delicious way to minimize waste, and a delightful addition to your pantry or a thoughtful homemade gift.

Take a look at more recipes to reduce food waste here.

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