Candied Citrus Peel – Tangelo and Pomelo




I hit the tail end of the citrus season with a slightly frenzied and frenetic pace this year. It seemed like I was never going to have enough time to make use of all the pomelos, minneola tangelos, meyer lemons and blood oranges that I would gleefully find in the produce aisle. Their beautiful yet brief appearance at grocery stores here in Michigan was one of the few things that kept me from jumping off a bridge in mid-February. Have you noticed how folks who live in or near the tropics are so damn happy all the time? Hello – they have teh sun! I think the way the cold drags on can be downright miserable for some of us (tele-skiers being exempt, of course.)

Oh, it’s not all doom and gloom, friends. Thanks to Jen, I had the inspiration and know-how to make candied citrus peels. Instant sunshine and a little happiness — that is what they bring. What I find most appealing about making this is that it is the ultimate Recycling Addict’s recipe: the fruit is eaten, the peel is candied and the citrus-y syrup left over from the candying process can be used to sweeten lemonades, coffee, tea; for brushing the tops of sweet breads and loaves, for making meringue with citrus flavor, etc.; nothing to waste, or rien ne se jete, as Warda wrote on her post for making candied orange zest.

Tangleos make excellent candidates for candying because their peel comes off rather easy, much like tangerines. Their strong fragrance and striking, almost crimson color add a gourmet touch to any candy tray. Pomelos are a favorite fruit of mine and I was curious about how they would turn out. Luckily, they turned out just as delicious as the candied tangelos.


Candied citrus

Candied Tangelos



I adapted Jen’s recipe to suit my tendency towards eating “less sweet” desserts. Of course, that seems a bit silly since we’re talking about candying fruit. Nevertheless, I prefer to scrape away as much of the pith after blanching the peels (before candying them) because I want to think that less pith means less matter for the sugar to adhere and attach itself to. I sliced the peels only after the blanching process was complete because I found the delicate tangelo peels fared better that way (less breakage). As a result, they were slightly more delicate and a bit more tender than regular orangettes. I think some fruit need to be blanched more than others. I blanched the tangelos three times and the pomelos five times before I felt enough of the bitterness was removed. Also, I did not dip them in chocolate as Jen did but, maybe next time. Lord knows I like to gild the lily. Besides, there’s always another fabulous winter to look forward to…



adapted from Use Real Butter

5-6 tangelo minneolas or 2 pomelos
2 3 cups (600g) sugar
2 cups (480mL) water

1 cup (200g) sugar for rolling
8 oz (~230g) chocolate for dipping

Harvest the peel by scoring the tangelo vertically along the center (think Earth’s Meridian). Carefully pull the peel back so that you end up with two hollow halves of tangelo peel. Repeat with the rest of the fruit. For the pomelos, score the fruit into 5 or 6 sections and peel back and separate the skin from the fruit. Because pomelos have so much pith, I used a sharp paring knife to cut some of the pith – in a similar manner as I would to fillet fish. (I don’t know if this decreased the number of times I would need to blanch the peels, but I thought it didn’t hurt.)

Place peel halves/segments in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat on high until water comes to a boil. Pour off the water. Repeat three times more (or however many times you think is enough to remove bitterness). Once the blanching is complete, use a sharp spoon to [carefully] scrape off some of the pith (as much as desired.) Cut peel into 1/4 (or 1/2) inch [~.5 or 1.5cm] strips.

Combine sugar and water in the saucepan and bring to boil over high heat until temperature reaches 230F (110C). Add peel and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until peels are translucent (30 minutes or longer). Remove peels from syrup and roll in sugar if desired, and set on rack to dry for several hours. Once the peel is dry, you can dip in tempered dark chocolate – shake off excess, and place on foil, wax paper, or baking sheet to dry. Store in a tupperware, or if not chocolate dipped, store in sugar.

Bon appétit!




Redbuds and The Huron River



21 Responses to “Candied Citrus Peel – Tangelo and Pomelo”

  1. VegeYum Ganga Says:

    The photos here are fantastic. and the peel looks amazing too. Laid out in the dish like that – just perfect.

  2. Wandering Chopsticks Says:

    Oooh, nice! It’s raining here today. And the bright colors of the candied citrus just brought a spark of sunshine.

  3. Jen Yu Says:

    omgosh, i looooove redbuds!! those are just beautiful as are your candied peels! i’ve read some folks have had a heck of a time w/ grapefruit peels, so i am jazzed to see you were successful w/ pomelo. i will refer to your technique when i get the guts to try it 🙂

  4. Andreea Says:

    delicious. just delicius. now all i have to do is wait for next winter 🙂

  5. michelle Says:

    the color on the candied tangelo is gorgeous, i’m sad they’re out of stores here because i would totally make these.

  6. Warda Says:

    Again, Christine, your photos are amaaaaaaaaaaaazing! And your candied citrus are wayyyyyy prettier than mine.
    The pictures of the park are so beautiful.

  7. Amy Says:

    Tangelo peels! That’s genius!! I just happen to have 2 tangelos and now I know what to do with the peels. Whoo!

  8. pixen Says:

    OMG lovely idea and yummylicious photos! I got to try making them and dip into chocolate… Does the fruits has to be non-treated? The way you did it so easy peasy… thanks for sharing!


  9. Madeline Says:

    How wonderful! I’ve never thought of doing this before. I have some gorgeous grapefruits that I think I’ll try it out on.

  10. holybasil Says:

    VegeYum Ganga – Thanks!

    WC – Is it really raining? Hope the weekend turns out better…

    Jen- Thanks to you, I was able to make these. I’d actually never seen redbuds until I moved here. They’re not as dramatic to me as cherry blossoms or magnolias, but as you get closer to them, their flowers are very interesting – particularly the way they sprout all over the branches.

    I’d like to try this with regular orange and grapefruit one of these days.

    Andreea – Thanks 🙂

    Michelle – Yeah..I wish I had done the post earlier when there were still tangelos around…but you could still make them with regular oranges or whatever citrus you find. (I’d be eager to see your write up on this, too) ;0

    Warda – merci bc! Oh, I dunno about these being better than yours — yours are very, very delicate and perfect for using in desserts – whereas I wouldn’t necessarily want to chop these up to toss into cake batter.

    Amy – Oh thanks – if you don’t eat them first, right? 🙂

    Pixen – That’s a great question. I do think that untreated fruit will be far better (it’s what I used) as the peel is the essence of the recipe but I imagine the blanching would rid a lot of the chemicals from treated fruit (I’m not certain, though).

    Madeline – Thanks! I’m sure the grapefruit will be fabulous.

  11. mycookinghut Says:

    What a great idea! Very nice photos!

  12. andrea Says:

    It is so interesting you just posted this. I was on looking for candied citrus peels not too long ago and I think I came across a recipe from one of your foodblog friends. I didn’t have enough peel to really do it right, but will definitely try again using your recipe. Yumm.
    Also, I have been working on something for you from your cooking class with the kids. It has taken me way too long. Hopefully you will have it in your e-mail soon.

  13. White on Rice Says:

    I don’t know why I don’t save all my peels. We eat so much citrus from our trees but never think about candy-ing them. We’ll have to do it for sure. Those look delicious!

    Those redbuds are beautiful! See? There are some very, very beautiful moments in Michigan that We’ll never get to see in California. You’re in a good place right now!

  14. Denise Says:

    What a wonderful post – I love the photos as always they are fantastic! Great idea for peels, I always toss ours like WOR and I really should try to use them up – another new idea to try out this summer!

  15. holybasil Says:

    Mycookinghut – Thanks!

    Hi Andrea and the Gang 🙂 I often freeze leftover peel from limes, lemons and oranges in ziploc bags, which I keep in the freezer. Once I have enough to make a large batch of this, I candy them all together. This way, I can harvest them whenever I want.

    I got your email and thank you thank you thank you for the card! It’s awesome!

    WORC – If I had as many citrus trees growing in my own backyard as you do, I might never leave the house 😉 I think using Warda’s method is a great way to use up all that citrus you have available to you.

    Denise- Thanks! As I mentioned to Diane in another conversation, I never thought much of using up every last bit of every citrus fruit before but now that I pay so much for them, I feel like I *have* to!

  16. diva@theSugarBar Says:

    awesome! thanks for this recipe. i’ve been looking for one for ages. looks great.

  17. mandira Says:

    beautiful pics of ann arbor. we recently went canoeing at gallup park 🙂 I have a couple of oranges left… will try this out soon.

  18. shayne Says:

    I did tangerines last winter but I have to say that they did not look this nice.

  19. Nadia Says:

    Beautiful photographs!

  20. Tim Says:

    You know what I do? After you boil the peel in the sugar, don’t discard it! After you remove the peel, continue boiling the candying liquid down to a thick syrup. Allow to cool slightly and transfer it to a plastic container to continue cooling. Use the fragrant, amazingly delicious syrup instaead of caramel in brulees, drizzle over panna cotta, or -my favorite – use as a glaze over grilled chicken breasts.

  21. amelia Says:

    gorgeous photos

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