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Make Your Own Candied Citrus

Make Your Own Candied Citrus
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Wintertime is citrus time. And even though these fruits are grown far away in much warmer climates, we’re enjoying our fair share of clementines, Meyer lemons, pomelos, and tangerines.

To celebrate this season, I made some candied citrus slices. They’re so simple. You just need lemons, oranges, limes, or any other citrus variety you like, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of water.

First, slice the citrus very thinly. A mandoline is a great tool for this job, but you can use a knife, too. Just go slowly.

In a large skillet, combine the sugar and water. Set over high heat and bring to a simmer. Add the fruit, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the fruit is tender and translucent. This usually takes about 15 minutes.

Citrus slices cooking in simple syrup.

Photo/Art by Amy Traverso
Citrus slices cooking in simple syrup.


Keep an eye on the pan so the syrup doesn’t begin to caramelize. Then remove the slices and dry on cooling racks. When finished, the fruit will still be soft and somewhat sticky. But it’ll also be delicious. If you like, you can dip the fruit in superfine sugar, but I like it plain.

Some cooks like to blanch the fruit before candying it by putting the slices in boiling water for a minute. This can leech some of the bitterness out of the peel, but I don’t find it necessary.

And what can you do with your candied slices? I used them for a citrus-buttermilk tea cake recipe I’m working on.

Citrus-buttermilk tea cake (for a future issue of Yankee!)

Photo/Art by Amy Traverso
Citrus-buttermilk tea cake (for a future issue of Yankee!)

However, here’s an even easier use: Take a store-bought angel food cake. Poke the top all over with a skewer and pour some of the citrus-scented syrup over the cake. Then arrange the fruit slices around the top. Serve with whipped cream or crème fraîche.



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Amy Traverso


Amy Traverso


Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !
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