Homemade candied peel

Making your own candied peel takes time, but it tastes delicious. Alternatively for something similar, you could buy mixed peel from the Waitrose Cooks' Homebaking range.

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 hours, plus 3-4 days drying
  • Total time: 5 hours and 5 minutes plus 3-4 days drying

Makes: About 500g

Ingredients

2 lemons
2 oranges
1 pink or ruby grapefruit
1 pomelo (or 1 white grapefruit)
600g granulated sugar

Method

  1. Scrub the fruit thoroughly. Slice off the top and bottom of each fruit then cut the peel in wide strips, from top to bottom, making sure that the pith remains attached to the skin. It will make the peel far more succulent once candied. Place each variety of peel in a separate pan, fill with cold water and boil until soft. Depending on your fruit, this can take up to 90 minutes. Keep the water replenished with a freshly boiled kettle.
  2. Drain and place all the peel in one saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring up to the boil and cook for a further 20 minutes before draining.
  3. Meanwhile dissolve the granulated sugar in 300ml water in a large thick-bottomed saucepan over a low heat. Bring up to the boil and gently stir in the peel. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for up to 2 hours 45 minutes, until the peel has absorbed virtually all the syrup.
  4. Lightly oil a grill rack and line it with greaseproof paper. Arrange the peel in a single layer on the rack, uncovered, to enable it to dry. If possible, put in a warm place, like an airing cupboard. Allow 3 to 4 days to dry, turning over twice during this time, to allow both sides to dry. It is very sticky. Once it its dry, store in an airtight jar. Snip into smaller pieces as and when you need it.