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Candied Grapefruit Peels

November 12, 2010

Now, here is a Christmas gift I’m sure they’re all going to love…Candied Grapefruit Peels.  Well, not as sweet as the orange and lemon peels these beautifully pink candied strips are for those who like a little bitter with they’re sugar.

I won’t lie…they do take time to make but you can do most of the work in an evening and then carry on while they do their thing and dry over the next couple of days.  Coating them in sugar is easy and kind of fun and packing them in some vintage jars just adds that finished touch.

The recipe I used is the same as for the Candied Orange Peels…but I’ll show you step by step.

First, you’ll need to choose some beautiful citrus fruit.  I picked up half a dozen Florida grapefruits at the grocery store the other day.  Look for fruit that has a nice colour and that’s rind is free of brown marks.  Then wash the fruit, cut in half and juice.  Save the juice for another purpose.  I’m enjoying mine with a little vodka, grenadin and some sprite…tasty and sure to get you through this entire process.

Once the grapefruits (oranges, limes, lemons or whatever you’ve selected) are juiced; put them in a large stainless steel or nonreactive saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil on high and reduce to a lively simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain the water and repeat this process 2 or 3 times depending on the bitterness of your rind.  For the grapefruit I did it three times.

When you’ve done that 2 or 3 times drain them again.  Add enough cold water to cover and now boil them partially covered for between 30-60 minutes or until the rinds are tender.  Drain again and leave them to cool to your touch.  I don’t know how long…maybe 15 minutes.  Then taking a spoon remove the inner flesh and as much of the pith as possible…leaving just a little white pith.  I admit scraping the pith out of the grapefruits was a little more challenging than that of the oranges and I wasn’t really sure that I had done it well enough.  Use your best judgement.  Experiment.  I don’t think you can screw it up after all they do eventually get coated in SUGAR.


Once the flesh and pith is  removed slice the peel into thin strips… approximately 1/4″. 

Return the strips to your saucepan and add 4 1/2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water. 

Cook, without stirring, until the undersides of the rinds appear semitranslucent and the liquid is syrupy and forms a swell of foaming bubbles, approximately 1 hour.  You can see here how much thicker the liquid is from the above photo and that bubbles are swirling in the center.  At this point you need to turn off the heat and let the rinds and syrup cool for 30 minutes. 

After letting it cool for about 30 minutes use a slotted spoon to remove the rinds from the syrupy mess.  Place each strip on a wire rack over a cookie sheet so the remaining syrup has some place to drip.  Then all you have to do is wait. 

The grapefruit peels took 4-5 days to dry sufficiently.  I just kept checking them each morning to see if they were ready.  I am not sure why it took 2 days longer than the oranges other than the fact the rinds were a little thicker.  I am not sure if you can tell from the picture but the ready rinds are not as juicy.  They are dried out but still quite sticky (more so on one side).

I place the sugar in a stainless steel bowl but you could use a cookie sheet or whatever you want to dredge the rinds through the sugar.  I just give them a few good tosses and them pack them into clean sterilized jars.

And, that my friends is that!   On the first night give yourself about 3 hours to do all of the boiling, flesh and pith removing, slicing, and boiling in sugar…but after that it is a piece of cake.  They are really tasty and a unique Christmas gift.  Give it a try and let me know how you make out.  Next, I am going to try Candied Ginger.  My mom loves it!

Put up Total:

  • 1 x 1L vintage regular mouth mason jar
  • 3 x 500mL vintage regular mouth mason jar
13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2010 9:06 pm

    Ooooh, these look so delicious! I totally want to try this.

  2. November 13, 2010 3:16 am

    Okay Turnbulls, do we need for you to sell the stuff. I haven’t had a chance to do ANYTHING… remodeling is a such a drag.

    Hmmmm. Maybe I can bribe you???? hehe!

    • November 13, 2010 2:25 pm

      I appreciate all of your comments. It sounds like you need a sugary peel pick-me-up. Email me your shipping address at and I will send you some of the candied peels to get you through the renovating blues.

  3. PepperReed permalink
    January 3, 2011 8:43 am

    How much syrup did you have left over (from the final boiling of the peels)? What did you do with it (I’m assuming its not to bitter to use elsewhere)?

    • January 3, 2011 9:00 am

      There really isn’t much syrup left over from the final boiling of the peels…and it really isn’t syrup…it is more set up then you’d imagine. In fact, we left a batch of the peels in the gelled sugar a bit too long before transferring to the drying racks and those peels have a thick white sugar coating.

  4. Jas permalink
    June 3, 2011 11:09 pm

    So thats how you get rid of the pith! I live in California where every other person (except me!) seems to have orange trees in their yard. I’ll have to try this the next time I end up with oranges. I’ve been wanting to do candied orange peels for ages but was unsure what to do about the pith.

    Candied ginger is a snap. I like to toss some mint into the syrup when I make it. I then store the left over syrup in the fridge and use to sweeten both hot and iced tea. I need to make some soon! But first the flat of strawberries I got in my CSA this week. Those are getting turned into strawberry balsamic jam.

    • June 4, 2011 7:35 am

      MMmmm…strawberry balsamic jam!
      One suggestion with the candy peels ~ make sure they dry out well. If you’ve got one moist guy in the jar it will end up molding the batch. Ours lasted on the pantry shelves for a good 5 months and then started to grow some fuzz. Alternatively, you could keep them in the fridge. They’re a lot of work so you don’t want them to spoil. Let us know how you make out!

      • Jas permalink
        June 7, 2011 5:32 pm

        The strawberry balsamic jam turned out amazing. I added a few grinds of black pepper to it at the very end and it gives it this wonderful bite to cut the sweetness. Also made strawberry leather which turned out amazing and does’t use as much sugar as jam does.

        One question I have – do you have suggestions for ways to preserve stuff, especially fruit, that doesn’t use as much sugar (or maybe none at all)? With 2 batches of jam and leather I’ve gone through as much sugar in the last week as I normally use in a year, which means if I eat those jars of jam along with my usual sugar intake I’m doubling it right there. Not good for someone trying to cut back on the sweets and lose weight! I’d love to preserve the excess fruit I get every week to eat in months when it is not available cheaply, but not if it means consuming so much extra sugar with it.

      • June 7, 2011 6:27 pm

        We’ve been doing more and more dehydrating….no sugar added. We purchased the Excalibur 3900 this winter and absolutely love it. We’ve done Strawberry Slices and Banana Chips. Both are really tasty and you would swear we added sugar. They make a great snack that is both health and quick to put up. You could use it for all kinds of other fruits and veggies too! Although, it will put you back a few hundred dollars to get one we think it has been an excellent investment.

      • Jas permalink
        June 8, 2011 3:23 pm

        Oh I’d love one but right now it’s not in the budget at all, nor do I have the space for it. But a good dehydrator is definitely on my someday list. The single sheet of strawberry leather I made in the oven has me convinced it is a good idea.

        And gee thanks, now I want banana chips. Wonder if bananas are on sale this week.

  5. Sarah permalink
    November 18, 2011 11:59 am

    How long do these keep?

    • November 18, 2011 1:24 pm

      If properly dried and stored they should keep for about 6 months. We stored ours in glass jars and they started to go moldy after about 5-6 months. They may have kept longer in the fridge?

  6. Sarah permalink
    November 18, 2011 8:07 pm

    Thank you I have them drying now

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