With Halloween on the way I thought I could share with you a healthyish French sweet recipe. Candied citrus peels aren’t Halloween treats in France as we don’t really celebrate it, but they are traditional sweets that are very easy to make and have many nutrients. Lemon and oranges are well known for their high content of vitamin c but their peels are healthier as they contains the majority of the vitamins and are also rich in flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.
In this recipe I use lemon and orange peels but you can use any citrus peels that you like. Because peels are bitter, there is a process to follow to remove the bitterness and make them delicious. Blanching the peels several times help reduce the bitterness as well as the syrup that coats them. You can eat them just with the sugar or you can dip them into dark chocolate which makes a great contrast with the sweetness of these candies. They are chewy and a little bit similar to sour candies. These are some of my favorites and I hope you will love them too!
Let’s start cooking!
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- 2 organic or non treated oranges
- 2 organic or non treated lemons
- Sugar (it will be the same weight as the blanched peels)
- Water (it will be the same weight as the blanched peels)
- Dark chocolate (optional)
1- Because we will be using the peels I highly recommend using organic or non treated citrus so you don’t ingest as much chemicals. Also, I like to brush the citrus under running water before hand. Dry them well and place on a cutting board.
2- You will need to detach the skin of the orange/lemon without getting any fruit or as much as you can on the skin, so I will share a technique to help you. First slice the top and bottom of oranges and lemons. Try to only slice the skin part as much as you can.
Then slice each side of the citrus without going too deep so you don’t cut the fruit inside. You can look at the depht of the peel on top so you know how deep you should cut.
With a sharp knife go around the edges on top and at the bottom of the citrus. With the blade of your knife detach the peel from the citrus delicately. Do it only around the top and bottom as the rest will detach easily.
Once done, detach each quarter of peel delicately. You should have none to almost no citrus on the skins.
3- Flatten the peels and cut the round edges so each skin is a perfect rectangle. Slice the peels not too thick or too thin.
4- Once the peels are sliced you will have to blanch them 3 times. In a pot, add the peels, cover with cold water and let the water boil. When the water is boiling, drain the peels, rinse under cold water and repeat.
5- Weight your blanched peels. For 2 oranges and 2 lemons, I got 275g of peels. Add the peels in a pot and add the same weight of water and sugar. Let the syrup reduce until it is sticky and covering all the peels. Stir very often so the syrup doesn’t caramelized.
6- Place the peels on parchemin paper and separate them as much as possible as they may stick to each other. Let them cool down for a couple minutes.
7- Pour some sugar in a bowl and roll each peel into the sugar. Place on a plate and let them dry. The best is to wait a couple days before eating them but it usually is hard to wait that long! They are even better covered with chocolate and for this I recommend using dark chocolate to balance the sweetness of these candies.
I hope you will enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comment what you think about this recipe and if you liked it.