Candy

How To Make Simple Candied Mixed Peel

4.94 from 16 votes
Candied Mixed Peel is essential for Christmas Cakes and more in Ireland, now you can make yours right at home.
A jar of candied mixed peel using lemons and oranges.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Holidays are all about tradition, no matter where you are in the world or how you celebrate. And although I am far away from all the traditions I grew up with I make sure every year that I get a ‘taste’ of an Irish Christmas no matter whether I’m on the west coast of the U.S. or the southeast coast of Ireland.

There are some ingredients I find it difficult (or expensive) to buy in the U.S. And because I’m always up for a challenge I decided to research making my own ingredients that are commonly found in Irish desserts at Christmas, like Glacé Cherries, Mixed Spice and yes — Candied Mixed Peel.

What Is Candied Mixed Peel?

Candied Mixed Peel, or Candied Mixed Peel, is what you get when you cook any citrus like lemon, limes, or oranges in thick sugar syrup. It is a way to preserve the skin of the fruit to be used in future recipes around Christmas like Christmas Cakes and Christmas puddings.

Oranges and lemons juiced and ready for their first cook-down to become candied mixed peel.

Desserts That Use Candied Citrus Peel

In Ireland, we would most commonly use candied citrus peel in my Christmas Cakes, Christmas Puddings, or my Homemade Mincemeat for mince pies. 3 similar but different traditional holiday desserts. All fruit, sugar, and alcohol-based recipes that are steamed, baked, and put into a pastry.

I love them all equally and eat as much as I can during the month of December. In other parts of the world, you can find citrus peel tossed in sugar and dipped in dark chocolate. I prefer pudding.

What You Need To Make Candied Mixed Peel

  • Juicer or Reamer
  • Heavy Bottomed Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Measuring Cups
  • Chopping Knife

My candied mixed peel recipes uses both oranges and lemons, shown here in a bowl.

How To Make Candied Mixed Peel

This is process is as simple as can be, and I’m not sure I’ll ever buy it from a store again! (And don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below)

  • Using an electric juicer or hand reamer, juice oranges, and lemons.  Set juice aside to use in cooking or baking.
  • Ad the citrus peels to a large heavy-bottomed pot and cover the peel with cold water.
  • Bring the citrus peel a boil over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, remove the pot from the heat and drain the fruit, discarding the water. Repeat this process a second time. The peels should be soft at this point. This is to take away a lot of the bitterness from the peel.
  • Back in the same medium-sized pot, add peels, sugar, and 3 ½ cups water. Place on a lid and over high heat bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium/low and steadily simmer until peels look slightly translucent, approximately 1hr 15 minutes -1hr 30 minutes hour. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  • When the peels have cooled, take a pairing knife and gently scrape away the membrane (aka segment walls) from the zest but keeping most of the thick flesh.
  • Cut the zest into the strip and then into small squares.
  • Store the candied citrus peel in syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months. Don’t store at room temperature or it can go bad.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Candied Mixed Peel

  • Use a good quality, heavy-bottomed saucepan when cooking the citrus for an extended period of time
  • Make sure to wash off any wax or coating that might be on your fruit
  • Throw some limes or grapefruit into the mix for different flavors
  • Store in the fridge and not at room temperature
  • Once you juice the citrus you can freeze the juice in ice-cube trays and frozen to be used in recipes at a later date

A finished jar of my candied mixed peel recipe on a wood table.

How Do I Store Candied Citrus Peel?

This is an important note as generally with the store-bought candied citrus peel you can store it at room temperature for months on end. However, with my homemade citrus, I must insist it is kept in the fridge where it will keep happily for several months. I store my first batch in the cupboard and after a week it was moldy so — fridge it is!

Make More Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Candied Mixed Peel Recipe

4.94 from 16 votes
Candied Mixed Peel is essential for Christmas Cakes and more in Ireland, now you can make yours right at home.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 lbs
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Candied Mixed Peel is essential for Christmas Cakes and more in Ireland, now you can make yours right at home.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 lbs

Ingredients

  • 4 medium oranges, halved horizontally
  • 3 medium lemons, halved horizontally
  • 4 cups (2lbs/900g) granulated sugar
  • 4 cups (32floz/900ml) water, plus more for boiling

Instructions

  • Juice the oranges and lemons and set juice aside to use in cooking, salad dressings, baking, or cocktail making.
  • Place citrus peels in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it has reached a rapid boil, remove the pot from the heat and drain the fruit, discarding the water. Repeat this process a second time. The peels should be soft at this point.
  • In a medium-sized pot over high heat, add peels, sugar, and 4 cups water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium/low and steadily simmer until peels look slightly translucent, approximately 1hr 15 minutes -1hr 30 minutes hour. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Once peels are cool enough to handle, cut them in half. With a pairing knife, gently scrape away membrane (aka segment walls) from the zest but keeping most of the flesh.
  • Cut the zest into strip and then into small squares.
  • Store peel in syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months. Use in my Christmas Cakes ,  Christmas Puddings. or my Homemade Mincemeat .

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Judy
22 days ago

Sadly, though citrus is available in stores at this time of year–fall or autumn, oranges, in particular are NOT in season. The fruits sold in the stores are either very old, having been held over in cold storage since last season to be able to sell all year, or they come from far away, across the globe making them a very big carbon footprint. I make my peel in the winter after the holiday season, then store until the following fall. Lovely peel, and made with first of the season fruits. Also note that Trader Joes sells lovely candied orange,… Read more »

claire day
claire day
14 days ago

hi I find after cooking the peel with changing the water several times then I scrape the peel down (letting it cool so you can handle the peels) and then cook in the sugar solution. This way the sugar is going into the peel not the membrane which you discard.

Kari
Kari
18 days ago

Hi Gemma,
Thank-you so much for all of your wonderful recipes! I need to avoid sulphites, so I haven’t been able to enjoy Christmas cake in a long time. Thank-you for showing everyone how to make healthier versions of store-bought ingredients! I also eagerly await your glace cherry recipe that is coming soon! Christmas cake is back on the menu, thanks to you! I often come to your website when I need a homemade version of ingredients that are normally bought. Thanks for all of your hard work in getting these spectacular recipes out to everyone! -Kari

Dean Roberts
Dean Roberts
22 days ago

You mention storing the peel in syrup. Are you referring to the sugar and water mixture that the peels are boiled in? Do I reserve that liquid?

BakerBug
1 day ago

Well, yesterday turned into a Bigger Bolder Baking day, starting with making this recipe. This was a fun project, a little time consuming, but not onerous. I used 3 oranges, 3 lemons, I grapefruit and 1 lime. I got a nice big container which is now nestled at the back of my fridge ready for Christmas baking and hot cross buns, which are a year round staple in our house. The lemon juice was used to curdle my Home Made Ricotta Cheese and the whey was then used to make my No Knead Bread. Waste not, want not, as my… Read more »

5 days ago

Hey Gemma
Can I remove the segments before hand??

Kaylee Soria
Kaylee Soria
5 days ago

You mention it’s shelf life is short outside the fridge. Does this also mean that a fruitcake made with this would also have a shorter shelf life than usual?

5 days ago

Can I use the strips I make from this to cover in chocolate for snacking?

BellaIMT
13 days ago

Hi Gemma, thank you for this great and easy recipe. I made few batches of just oranges and then mix citrus which included tangerines…and to my surprise it actually worked. I do have a one question…when I’m ready to add the candied citrus to my breads do I need to dry them first or just drain the syrup. Thank you.

Nikky
Nikky
17 days ago

Hi there
Can this be used in your hot cross bun recipe?

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