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Homemade Mixed Peel on a wire rack
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4.87 from 15 votes

Homemade Mixed Peel

Homemade Mixed Peel is so much more flavourful than supermarket bought. It isn’t as bitter and has a more fully rounded flavour that captures the essence of citrus season.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time20 mins
Soaking Time7 d
Total Time7 d
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: British
Servings: 72 servings
Calories: 79kcal


  • 4 organic oranges unwaxed if available
  • 4 organic lemons unwaxed if available
  • 1 organic grapefruit unwaxed if available
  • 2300 ml cold water
  • 1350 g granulated sugar


Day 1

  • If your fruit is waxed then you will need to wash off the wax from the skin of the fruit first by giving it a light scrub. Cut the oranges, lemons and grapefruit into quarters then with a very sharp knife remove the flesh from the skin and the pith.
  • Cut into short thin strips. To achieve this, cut the peel lengthways again. You might need to cut the lemon peel once, the orange peel twice more and the grapefruit peel three times more to get even sized pieces. Then cut widthways into short thin strips.
  • Weigh the peel, you should have around 450g.
  • Place the peel into a large saucepan with the water then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the heat and drain over a large bowl to reserve the cooking water. Weigh out the cooking water, you need 1140g (5 ¾ cups) and pour back into the saucepan. Top up with more water if you don't have enough.
  • Add 900g (4 ½ cups) to the water and bring to a gentle boil, simmer for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Place the peel in a large bowl and pour the sugar syrup over. Allow to cool then cover and leave to soak for 24 hours.

Day 2

  • Strain the syrup into a large saucepan and return the peel to the bowl.
  • Add the remaining 450g (2 ¼ cups) of sugar to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for a couple of minutes making sure the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Pour the syrup back over the peel, cover and leave for another 24 hours.

Day 3

  • Pour the peel and syrup into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Pour everything back into the bowl, cover and leave the peel to soak for 4 final days.

Day 7

  • Drain the fruit, place on a fine wire rack and leave in a sterile dry place until no longer sticky. See notes below for options on drying the peel.
  • Store the mixed peel in sterilised glass jars in a cool dark place.


Recipe lightly adapted from the Reader's Digest 'The Cook's Scrapbook' Ed. John Palmer
But what do you do with all that leftover citrus syrup? For exclusive tips and recipes including an amazing Leftover Syrup Cake then click here >>> Leftover Syrup: Recipes & Tips.

Important tips

  • Use the best organic fruit you can get hold of as it does make a world of difference to the flavour. Unwaxed is best, otherwise you'll have to wash off the wax before you get started.
  • It is a personal choice how much pith you leave on the citrus when you remove the flesh. If the pith is especially thick then you might like to cut some of it away. I like to leave a little pith on to give the mixed peel some substance.
  • Always allow the peel + sugar syrup to cool before covering and leaving overnight.
  • You can leave the peel to soak at room temperature if your environment is not too warm. However, you can leave to soak in the fridge in warmer climates.
  • To dry the candied peel at the end of the process you have a number of options. You can use a dehydrator to dry the peel or you can leave in a place in your kitchen which you can be sure is totally sterile like a turned off oven. However, my current preference is to dry the peel in a very low oven, set at its lowest setting, for 1-2 hours which speeds up the process.
  • The peel should be totally dry before storing. If not, just store the peel in the fridge in sterilised glass jars and it will keep well for a few weeks.

Ingredient measurements

  • Please note when you see ‘grams’ listed as opposed to ‘millilitres,’ or any other term of measurement, that is not incorrect. I weigh all of my ingredients, including liquids, for accuracy.
  • US customary measurements for the ingredients provided are based on a conversion calculator. This recipe was tested with metric measurements and I recommend using a digital scale to weigh ingredients for the most accurate results. READ MORE >>> Why you should always weigh vs measuring with cups

Nutrition information

Please note that the nutrition information provided below is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use. Please seek a professional nutritionist’s advice for further clarification.
The nutrition serving is for 1 tablespoon mixed peel but this is a very rough estimate. 


Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 26mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 8.1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg