Recipe courtesy of Nicole Rucker

Candied Citrus Zest

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: About 2 cups
  • Nutrition Info
The aroma therapy you get from candying citrus is just one of the perks of making use of the whole fruit. Once you understand the basics of candying citrus, you can apply them to any citrus fruit. The method is simple enough: Slowly poach citrus peels in sugar syrup until they are cooked through and translucent.



  1. Cut the citrus into wedges and remove the flesh. Use a sharp paring knife to remove as much white pith as possible from the peels. Reserve and use the insides of the fruits for juice or another use.
  2. Place all the peels in a 2-quart saucepan. Cover the peels with water and bring them to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and drain. Set the peels aside.
  3. Add the sugar, honey, and 1 1/2 cups (354ml) water to the empty pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook to dissolve all the sugar, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Add the reserved peels to the sugar syrup and reduce the heat to low; gently simmer until the syrup registers 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer or until the peels are bright and translucent looking. Stir the peels frequently. This should take about 1 hour. You do not want to caramelize the sugar at all, so keep the flame low and cook slowly. If the syrup begins to thicken before the peels have cooked through, you may need to add a touch more water to the pan during the cook time to slow down the candying process a bit.
  4. Cool the peels in the syrup until they reach room temperature. From here you can go in two different directions: you can store the candied peels in an airtight container in the syrup to keep it soft and hydrated. Alternately, you can dredge the peels in granulated sugar and set them on a wire rack overnight to create a dried candied zest confection. The sugared zest can then be stored at room temperature for months and months.

Cook’s Note

Make sure to use unwaxed fresh fruit ONLY.