My candied mixed peelrecipe uses lemon and orange peels to make a sweet and fruity treat that can be used in so many ways! You can use them as dessert toppers, add them to cookies, or make a fruit cake for the holidays! Of course, they make a tasty snack all by themselves, too!
Before getting started, scrub the oranges and lemons gently with a vegetable brush. Then peel the oranges and lemons from top to bottom into 2-4" segments and slice the segments into ¼" thick strips.
2 large oranges, 3 large lemons
Heat the water, granulated sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir frequently until all of the sugar has dissolved.
2 cups water, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon salt
After the sugar has dissolved, add the lemon and orange peel. Let the peels simmer for 15-20 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to keep from boiling over. Stir occasionally so all the peel is exposed to the sugary syrup equally.
Remove the saucepan from heat and add the vanilla. Let the peels sit in the syrup for 5 minutes to soak up the flavor. While they sit, place a wire cooling rack on top of parchment paper or a rimmed baking sheet.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Transfer the orange and lemon peels to the cooling rack to dry. If coating your mixed peel in sugar, allow it to dry for 20-30 minutes before coating. Then return it to the cooling rack to dry fully. This may take up to 24 hours.
Once dry, dice the strips of peel into small cubes. Fold your diced mixed peel into fruitcake batter, enjoy it as a snack, or store it for later use.
It is important to wash your fruit or you may be exposed to chemicals and pesticides that were used during the growing process.
A vegetable peeler is the best tool for peeling oranges and lemons. If you use a pairing knife, be sure to remove as much of the pith (the white underside of the peel) as possible because it is very bitter.
You want to simmer the peels long enough to become tender but not so long that they lose their bright color.
To store dry: If coated in sugar, store in a jar or airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. *I often keep my mixed peel in a mason jar if I plan on using it soon. Otherwise, I will vacuum seal it in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber.
To store in syrup: Pour mixed peel along with the syrup into an airtight container and keep it refrigerated for up to 2 months.