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 (coming soon!), Mixed Spice (coming soon!) 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!

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