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How to Make Candied Dried Citrus Recipe

makes: as many as can fit into your pot, baking sheet, and schedule
Course: Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candy, citrus


  • 2 cups sugar
  • citrus like oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, sweet lemons, limes, and grapefruit


Prep Citrus

  • Wash and scrub citrus, using a produce wash like Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash if you have it. Slice the citrus into round "sunshines" that are just under ¼-inch thick. Save the "butt" ends of the citrus to squeeze out the little bit of juice they have into the simple syrup for extra flavor.
  • Bring a large, heavy-bottomed pot half full of water to a gentle boil. Add the citrus slices and boil for five minutes. Turn off heat, drain the water from the pot, add fresh water to the citrus in the pot, and bring to a gentle boil again. Boil for five minutes. Repeat one more time. This blanching process removes some of the "bitterness" from the peel and pith, but you can skip this step entirely and jump ahead if you don't mind the bitterness.
  • Remove the blanched citrus slices from the pot.

Make Simple Syrup for Candied Citrus

  • Make simple syrup: To the same large, heavy bottomed pot, combine 2 cups sugar with 2 cups water. Squeeze in any juice from the "butt" ends of the citrus. Bring to a low boil, stir until sugar dissolves, then reduce heat to low. Add back the blanched citrus slices, making sure that all of the citrus is covered by the simmering syrup. Simmer for 40 minutes, turning the slices over at least once.
  • Save the now-citrus-flavored syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator! You can use it for cocktails, tea, anywhere you'd use a syrup or sweetener.

Dry Citrus

  • Dry the Citrus Slices: Heat oven to 170°F, or the lowest your oven will go.
  • If you have wire racks for baking sheets, remove the citrus rounds from the syrup and place on the racks in a single layer. If you don't have racks, line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the citrus rounds on the baking sheets in a single layer. The citrus can touch, but do not let them overlap.
  • Place as many baking sheets as will fit on your racks in the oven. Dry the citrus rounds in the oven until they are dry (they will still be a little sticky from the sugar) and firm enough to hold their shape when you pick them up with tongs, about 3 hours, flipping every hour.
  • Remove the baking sheets from the oven and remove the candied dried citrus to a wire rack to cool and dry further. Once cool, store in an airtight container. A re-sealable plastic bag works as well.
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You can also just let the citrus air-dry overnight, but they will not get super dry.
Technically, you can keep dried citrus for weeks in the pantry, maybe even months depending on how dry they are, but you'll probably eat them all before then.