Candied orange and lemon peel with spices

This is one of the very first recipes I prepare at the beginning of Advent and sometimes as early as the end of November to prepare the treats in the Advent calendar.

It’s like a prelude to good things, a concentrate of Christmas flavours that perfumes the kitchen, a pretty delicacy that we won’t eat right away but that will accompany all the recipes of the coming weeks and give them that rich and sweet taste so comforting.

This is a very simple and rather quick recipe that will be very easy to adapt to the quantity of fruit you have. It can of course be used with other citrus fruits; you just have to be careful that their peel is thick enough (my tests with the peel of garden mandarins, for example, gave me a mixed result: very fragrant but the peels were no longer held together at all) and be sure to adjust the number of baths to blanch them according to their bitterness.

The syrup is just as delicious as the peel, especially in this spicy version, and I use it to make homemade marzipan, glaze the top of a cake or flavour a fruit salad.

Candied peels rolled in sugar or coated in melted chocolate make delicious orangettes and a beautiful decoration for Christmas cakes and buns. Chopped into small cubes, they transform gingerbread, leckerlis and other chocolate sand roses into magical sweets!

Let’s get to the recipe 🙂

Candied orange and lemon peel with spices

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Drying times1 hour


  • 4 organic oranges
  • 2 organic lemons
  • 26 tablespoon of cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 4 anise stars


Peels preparation

  • With a sharp knife, remove the peel from the fruit in wide strips, cutting slightly into the pulp. Keep the peeled fruit in a cool place. You can cut them into thin slices and add a spoonful of the syrup obtained at the end of the recipe to make a tasty fruit salad.
  • Regularly cut the peel into strips of about 5 mm / 0.2". (You can keep any scraps that can be used chopped up).
  • The peels now need to be blanched so that they lose some of their bitterness.
    Start with the lemon peels, which need an extra bath: in a saucepan, bring enough water to boil to cover the lemon peels, plunge them into the boiling water and boil for a minute, then drain them.
    Repeat the operation, boiling enough to cover the lemon peels + the orange peels. Plunge all the peels into the boiling water and leave to boil for 1 minute, drain them and repeat the process once more.

Sirup preparation

  • Weigh your peels and add their weight in sugar and their weight in water to the pan (if you want more syrup for future recipes, you can double these quantities).
  • Add the whole spices and the spoonful of honey and bring gently to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the syrup is thickened and the peel is translucent.

Final touch

  • You can now :
    – either store the peels and their syrup in a jar until the next time you use them: in a jar sterilised in boiling water, they can be kept in a cool place for at least a month.
    – or dry the peels to roll them in granulated sugar and make orangettes: drain the candied peels on a rack or with a sieve and leave them to dry for about an hour. Then roll them in the sugar to coat them completely. The orangettes can be eaten plain or coated with melted dark chocolate and, when well dried, will keep for several weeks in the fridge or in a tin.
    or of course do a bit of both 🙂

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