Candied Lemon (or other Citrus)

Awhile back I posted a couple recipes that I garnished with candied lemon and I promised you I’d give you the Candied Lemon recipe! Well, finally, here it is, along with directions for other Candied Citrus.

Candied Lemon

Candied Lemon

See, I had to make this Candied Lemon a few times because I didn’t think the ones I made before were quite perfect – and I’m not going to give you anything here on my blog unless I think the recipe is up to snuff.

As you can see, the candied lemon on my Frozen Lemon Meringue Cake wasn’t quite right. In the photo on the left, I had removed the white pith. It was delish, but looked, I don’t know, stingy? The photo on the right shows a candied lemon that was just a bit too wet. Both tasted good…but they weren’t perfect. By the way, make that cake!! Talk about a wonderful dessert!!

I also used Candied Lemon to garnish my Frozen Lemonade Pie (which is a super easy pie with store bought ingredients, although you’d never guess it by the taste – make that, too, lol!!) The Candied Lemon on this pie, though, turned out beautifully. I laid it out to dry all curled up and I love the way it looks.

Frozen Lemonade Pie

Frozen Lemonade Pie

So I’ve learned a lot about Candied Lemon (including how delish it is!) over the past few weeks:

  • Use organic fruit if possible, but otherwise, make certain to scrub vigorously. A plastic netting type scrubbie works well for this.
  • You may use citrus you’ve juiced or eaten, the peels may not be cut as prettily as peels you’ve cut just for this purpose.
  • Keep the pith on. It sucks up the sugar, bulks up the peel and gives the peel a marvelous texture, chew and mouth feel. Any store bought ones I’ve ever had used the pith, too.
  • Bitterness is not from the pith but from the oils. You’ll want to change water from one to several times, depending on the fruit – you bring it to a boil, drain and refill with cold water, then repeat. Don’t do this too many times or you’ll lose all the flavor. Test by tasting.
  • By the time you’re done with boiling and changing the water, the peels will probably be close to being ready to go into their final simple syrup bath (make the syrup and boil for five minutes before adding the peels) but check with a toothpick; simmer in that last batch of boiling water until easily pierced, drain, and then add into the simple syrup.
  • Peels will be finished after a 15 to 20 minute simmer in the simple syrup; you’ll see a translucency in the peel. Only then should you drain off the syrup (reserve that syrup) and lay out the peels to dry.
  • Dry the peels by placing on a rack over something to catch the drips. Dry for several hours in the open air or for a shorter time in a 200 degree oven. Once the peels are fairly dry and just tacky, roll in sugar. If you like a crunchy peel, dry on the counter for several days.
  • When properly done, the dry peels should keep in an airtight container for several weeks, at least, with no problem at all. As if they’d last that long.
Candied Lemon Peel - Make sure to save the flavored simple syrup

Candied Lemon Peel – Make sure to save the flavored simple syrup

There are a few variations in Candied Citrus that are fun:

  • Add spices to the sugar; ground ginger or nutmeg are said to go very well with orange peels, for instance.
  • Almost any citrus will  be good dipped in melted chocolate and allow to dry.
  • And of course, you can come up with your own ideas.

Don’t forget to use that marvelous Citrus Simple Syrup, Use it in ice-tea or cocktails. You can even use the same syrup to do additional batches and it will become like supercharged flavored syrup! Add more water and sugar in equal proportion if needed.

And don’t think about how this lemon syrup looks like something you have to put your name on at the Doc’s office!

Candied Lemon Peel

Candied Lemon Peel

Candied Citrus Peels

  • Servings: varies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cut fruit into slices about 1/4 inch thick and remove the fruit pulp, not the pith. Cut the rings in half so the peels are in long strips. 

Bring cold water to cover and peels to a boil in a small pan. Drain water, and repeat with fresh cold water. Repeat this boiling as needed until the peels no longer taste bitter – then simmer until the peel can be easily pierced with a toothpick.

Rule of thumb on water:

  • Oranges: Bring to a boil once, drain and repeat. (two boils.)
  • Lemons: Bring to a boil once, drain and repeat two times (three boils.)
  • Grapefruit: Bring to a boil once, drain and repeat four more times (five boils,)

For the simple syrup:

Combine fresh water, bring to a boil and add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer five minutes.

Add the citrus peel and simmer until the white pith becomes somewhat translucent, 15 to 20 minutes.

When finished, either:

  • Drain, reserving syrup and dry peels on a rack over something to catch the drips at room temperature or in the oven at 200 degrees (about 30 minutes) until tacky. Toss in sugar and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Store peels in syrup, refrigerated, to keep them soft.

Note: this recipe is very forgiving as far as the amounts of citrus and sugar. Simply increase if desired.

from the kitchen of


I’d like to thank Steffi from Ginger & Bread for inspiring me to try a new photo technique! She explained how she got her great dark backgrounds! Check her blog out for the most marvelous recipes and gorgeous photographs!!

Today, of course, I’ll be linking to our very own Throwback Thursday Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our latest Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or, as always, to see all the links or add your own, click on the little blue frog, below.

And, as I do almost every Friday, I’ll be linking up to Angie’s Fiesta Friday – this week is Fiesta Friday 126, so stop by and party!

19 thoughts on “Candied Lemon (or other Citrus)

  1. What a great project. They look so pretty and I love the way you use them to garnish your desserts. I will put this on my ever growing list of things I want to try!

    • Thanks Mum!! I have to say I love my chocolate best plain, but I love the citrus peels best with chocolate, at least the orange ones. I might have to get busy and make some now!!

  2. I saved that frozen lemonade pie recipe it looks so good and I am a sucker for anything lemon, I love candied lemon peel but never made it myself. Now I know how and I thought the bitter was from the pith, learned something new. Can’t wait to try this.

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