A Springy Citrus Treat: Candied Meyer Lemon, Bergamot & Blood Orange Peels ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Springy Citrus Treat: Candied Meyer Lemon, Bergamot & Blood Orange Peels

Ever since I first tasted candied bergamot peel at June Taylor's still room last year, I have been craving more of this delicious treat. So when I came across a Martha Stewart article on candying citrus peel a few months ago, I clipped it to hold on to until bergamot season rolled around again.

I thought that meyer lemons would also make delicious candied peel since they, too, have a uniquely lovely flower-like taste and smell. Luckily, we have a meyer lemon tree growing right outside our house. Since I had a couple of blood oranges on hand, I decided to throw them into the mix, too. The more candied citrus peel, the merrier, right?

Basket of bergamots and meyer lemons

Several hours of slicing, peeling, de-pithing, boiling, simmering and sugaring later, I had a big 'ol batch of mixed candied citrus peels to show for it. And they are damn tasty!!! I also had a pitcher of citrus-ade that I'd made from the peeled fruits (though they are a lot harder to squeeze than they are with the peels still on), and several jars worth of citrus-infused simple syrup.

Close up of candied citrus peels
Besides just eating them like candy, you can also chop them up and sprinkle them on other desserts or drop a few peels in a mug of hot water for a refreshing hot treat. Since they will only keep for a few weeks, and you can/should only eat so much of this decadent little dessert, I recommend giving the rest away as gifts.

One nice bonus to making this delightful treat is that you will also end up with a good deal of citrus-infused simple syrup after you've finished simmering the peels in sugar syrup. Definitely save this as it is a delicious, easy way to sweeten and flavor lemonade, iced tea, and any number of creative cocktails (cosmos, vodka gimlets, etc., etc.) It would also add delightful flavor when poured over some sorbet or ice cream or fruit salad. You could also use it to flavor baked goods -- waffles, cakes, etc.

Although I chose the dry, sugary preparation for my peels, you can also leave them in syrup and skip the draining and sugaring step altogether. I'm sure they are delicious over ice cream, etc.

Special thanks to my friend, Naushon, for her willingness to slice, dice and pose as hand model for these photos.

Candied Citrus Peel


* 6 lemons, 4 oranges, or 3 grapefruits (really you can make as much or as little of any kind of fruit as you like, you'll just have to adjust the sugar syrup amounts accordingly)
* Simple syrup -- 2 cups granulated sugar to 1 1/2 cups water (adjust the amount you make according to how large a batch you are making -- you want enough so that all the peels can be submerged)
* Additional granulated sugar for coating the candied peels


1. Cut the peel into 6-8 sections (trying not to cut into the fruit.)

Removing the peel from a meyer lemon
Gently remove the sections with your fingertips, trying not to rip any of them. Once you're done peeling, remove any excess pith with your paring knife.

Removing the peel from a meyer lemon
2. Bring a couple cups of water to a boil in a pot and add the slices of peel. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, then drain. Repeat two more times.

First round of blanching for the meyer lemon peels
3. After you've blanched the peel three times, make a sugar syrup by heating the sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil. Add the peels and return to a gentle boil, then lower heat to reduce to a simmer. Simmer for roughly 1 hour until the peels are tender and sweet. Cool for a little while, then drain the peels (they may still be extremely hot so be careful.)
Draining the meyer lemon peels after first round of blanching
4. Remove excess liquid then roll the peels in granulated sugar until they are fully coated. Place them on a wire rack to cool and finish drying (if you don't have a rack, you can also just use a piece of waxed or parchment paper on a baking sheet, instead.)

Drying the sugar coated peels
5. Store them in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature.

Candied citrus peels!

You might also like:
Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.


Chiot's Run said...

MMMMM, I just got a box of meyer lemons from LocalHarvest.org and I'm looking for ways to make the most of them. I'll be making these this afternoon.

Ria said...

Better late than never when it comes to replies! This recipe sounds wonderful. My roommate loves eating a lot of oranges around this time of year, so now instead of throwing out the peels, we can candy them and make extra snacks for ourselves! Thanks so much for this info!

ChicagoMike said...


I did this with my daughters today with grapefruit and it was OUTSTANDING. Thanks.


La Ferme de Sourrou said...

I got your blog link from Flickr.

This is a great post - exactly what I've been looking for !

Your blog looks lovely too - I'll be back....


sabjimata said...

this looks terrific. thank you. i will surely try it now that meyer lemons are in season around here.

Devadeva Mirel said...

just made it and it turned out great. process seemed to move a little quicker for me and i have no sugar syrup but a mess of cooked sugar rock but candy is terrific. will make more with my satsumas for birthday party favors! thanks.