The first time you make candied citrus peels, you might feel like you’re somehow cheating. After all, these gummy-bear-like candies cost pennies to make, but when you wrap them up as a gift or display them on your dessert table, they’ll glitter like jewels.
All this from the lowly peel, something most of us pitch or compost.
Ever since I discovered how easy they are to make, I’ve been stashing my citrus peels in the freezer. When we have enough and we’re about to host a party, I set about boiling and sugaring them into candy heaven. They are delightful plunked in cocktails, as well as eaten all on their own. They also make pretty gifts.
I was inspired to make these candies by MotherWouldKnow blogger Laura Kumin. Follow the links below to her recipes and let us know how it goes! (And thanks to Laura for sharing her pretty images of candied peels in fancy glassware!)
Candied Orange Peel
This is a perfect, basic recipe. It takes some time, but you can easily fit it around other things you’re doing in the kitchen. If I have some lemon peels, I toss those in too. Laura’s recipe creates pretty and narrow candies, but I’ve also peeled my oranges like normal and worked with less perfect shapes—they still taste good!
Candied Grapefruit and Lemon Peel
This recipe is similar to the one above, but requires less time for drying. My husband, who (gasp!) does not like oranges or grapefruits, favors an all-lemon approach.
Spiced Candied Orange Peel
Straight up candied orange peel is delicious, but if you’re looking for more complex flavors—think vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves—this recipe is your ticket.