Candied Citrus Peel

Years ago, my aunt started baking and giving away loaves of stöllen for Christmas.

What’s Stöllen?

Stöllen is a delicious, yeasty bread (sometimes called “Christstöllen) that is traditionally made at Christmastime. It is chock full of nuts, fruits, rum-soaked raisins, and marzipan and covered in powdered sugar. Like any homemade bread, it takes a little bit of time to make, but it’s easy and oh-so-worth-it.

My aunt would make this bread every December, and every other year when we visited for Christmas, she would give us a loaf. Alas, my aunt (and the rest of my family) lives in an area where the weather can be very unpredictable starting in November, so we had to stop planning Christmas trips to see everyone.

We also had to learn how to live without stöllen during the holiday season.

That would not do.

So I started making it myself. I’m not going to reprint the instructions here today, but here’s a link to the recipe I use. You’ll note, if you read the recipe, that the authors recommend making your own candied citrus peel (I also recommend a read because it’s a fascinating look at the history of the bread).

Candied Citrus Peel

I use the recipe for candied citrus peel that the authors link to in the stöllen recipe. It’s easy and delicious. In fact, each year the little sister of one of my son’s friends asks, “When are the Reades making those orange peel things?” Note to that little sister: you’ll be receiving some in a few days.

My son and I made the candied citrus peel today and I documented the process with photos. We used one red grapefruit, one lemon, one lime, and three oranges.

Wash your fruit first!

Slice the top and bottom from each piece of fruit.

Score the peels so the fruit is divided into fourths (just to make it easier to remove the peel), then remove the peel.

Save the fruit for juice or cooking!

Slice each piece of peel into 1/4″ wide strips.

Boil the strips in plain old water for 15 minutes.

Drain the strips, rinse them, drain them again, and repeat the boiling/draining/rinsing/draining sequence TWO more times.

Once the fruit is draining for the last time, mix 2 c. of sugar and 1 c. of water in the pot.

Bring it to a boil and boil for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar.

Add the peels and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

While I wait for the peels to finish simmering, I pour some granulated sugar into the food processor and give it a whirr for a minute or so. Pour the sugar into a Zip-loc-type bag.

After the peels have simmered for an hour, scoop them out a few at a time and let them drain…

before tossing them in the sugar.

Take the peels out of the bag and lay them on a baking rack to dry. Repeat with the rest of the peels.

Save that leftover syrup! It makes a mean Tom Collins!

You have to let the peels dry out for a day or two, then use them up or freeze them. Eat them, give them as gifts, chop them up in stöllen, or use them in any other way you can think of!

I wish you happy cooking! Stöllen is a fairly new tradition for our family (within the past five years or so)—what holiday traditions do you have?

Until next time,

Amy

15 comments on “Candied Citrus Peel

  1. Wow that’s a lot of work. But it’s worth it for what you get in the end! I can just smell your holiday home from here!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dgkaye says:

    Thanks for sharing the candied peel process. Although I have no taste for it, good to know. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ecellenb says:

    I’ve made these before but didn’t do the boil, drain, repeat and think they’d have been better if I did. I’ll have to try this sometime! I like the way you think–“Save that leftover syrup! It makes a mean Tom Collins!” LOL Great idea.

    Like

    • amreade says:

      I am full of good ideas for adult beverages! The article says that the three-boil process reduces the bitterness of the pith, so it’s worthwhile even if it tacks on some time.

      Like

  4. CarolCooks2 says:

    I love stollen and I have never candied my own peel…Thank you so much, Amy, for sharing this lovely recipe 🙂 x

    Like

  5. Pat Wahler says:

    That looks amazing. I might even try doing it, which is saying something since my favorite recipes require three or less steps, LOL!

    Like

    • amreade says:

      Hi, Pat,

      The thing about this recipe is that it has lots of steps, but they’re all really easy. It’s just a bit of a time commitment, that’s all. If you try making it, let me know! I’d love to hear how it turns out.

      Like

  6. Thank you, to you and your son. Great photos and directions. I’m sure your house smells marvelous. Merry Christmas!

    Like

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