This candied peel recipe will give your Christmas festivities a citrus zing

This candied peel recipe will give your Christmas festivities a citrus zingGetty Images

This Christmas recipe for candied peel will help give your festivities a citrus zing.

Candied peel is what gives Christmas baking it's warm citrussy notes. What you buy rarely compares to what you can make yourself at home and it's really easy.

Last year I made loads and put it in pretty jars and gave to family and friends as an early Christmas present.  

I juice oranges every morning for breakfast and to build up a supply of peel I save the orange shell and put in a plastic bag in the fridge.  You can use lemon and lime as well and just freeze the juice if you don't want to waste it.

Ingredients

  • 8 oranges
  • 2 lemon
  • 2 limes 
  • Teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 600g sugar
  • 300ml water

Method

  1. Gather the fruits and remove the skin, leaving a decent amount of pith.
  2. Place the fruit in a saucepan and cover with water. Add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and bring to the boil. Simmer until the peel is tender, then drain and cool.
  3. Make up your sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water and bring it to the boil.  
  4. Place the peel pieces in the syrup and lower the heat to a simmer until almost all of the sugar syrup has been absorbed. Reserve the remaining sugar syrup.
  5. Lift out the peel and place on a wire rack on top of a flat metal tray covered with foil or baking paper.  Place in a warm, dry place overnight until dry.
  6. The next day, reheat the syrup and dip the peel into it. Place the peel back on the rack for more drying.
  7. When completely dry, store in jars in a warm dry place.

To use the candied peel, just cut to size and add to mincemeat, puddings and fruit cakes.  The taste is spectacular and really noticeable in a Christmas cake in particular. You can also dip the stands into chocolate and leave them to set for a tasty snack.

Candied orange peel with chocolate, photo: Getty Images

Candied orange peel with chocolate, photo: Getty Images

What's your favourite Christmas recipe? Share in the comments!