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Sour Candied Citrus Peels

Sour Candied Citrus Peels
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The following recipe and photography were provided by local blogger Abby Thome of The Thome Home.

Set the zester aside and pucker up for the nostalgic sour flavor of these Candied Citrus Peels.

The citrus selection at Heinen’s has finally reached peak season, and I’ve been loading up on all of the zesty staples. I love adding fresh oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits to my everyday meals and snacks, but so often we forget about the potential of the peels!

Fresh Citrus Fruit

Not anymore! This recipe turns the traditionally bitter outer skin of your favorite seasonal citrus into a delicious treat with the flavor of your favorite sour candy.

Sour Candied Citrus Peels

Easily stored in a Mason jar, these colorful crystalized treats are tasty on their own, but look and taste even better on top of a citrus dessert or spring cocktail!

Sour Candied Citrus Peels

Sour Candied Citrus Peels


For the Citrus

  • 10-12 pieces of citrus fruit, Blood Orange, Cara Cara Orange, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit
  • 3 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • Water

For the Simple Syrup

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water

For the Sweet and Sour Coating

  • 2 cups Heinen’s raw cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. citric acid, reduce by 1/2 Tbsp. for less sour citrus peels


  1. Wash the citrus thoroughly, then place them into a large bowl. Add 3 Tbsp. of white vinegar and fill the rest of the bowl with water. Allow the citrus to soak for 5 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
  2. To make the citrus peels, slice the ends off of the citrus, creating a flat end on both sides.
  3. Place one end securely on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice the peel off of the citrus, following the curves. Try to keep as much of the white pith attached to the flesh as possible. Continue this process until all of the peels have been removed from the fruit.
  4. Slice each citrus peel segment into ¼-inch strips.
  5. Place the strips into a pot and add enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, drain the citrus peels.
  6. Place the peels back into the pot with fresh water and repeat the boiling process two more times. This will remove any bitterness.
  7. Once the peels have boiled 3 times, place them back into the pot with 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar. Simmer over medium-low heat for 40-60 minutes until the peels are tender and the simple syrup has reduced.
  8. Drain the citrus peels and place them onto a wire rack to cool for 15-20 minutes. Ensure that the peels do not touch, as this can cause them to dry out.
  9. Mix together 1 cup of cane sugar and 1 Tbsp. of citric acid. Toss the sticky peels in this mixture, then place them back onto the cooling rack in a single layer for one hour to set.
  10. Give the peels one final toss in the remaining 1 cup of cane sugar and 1 Tbsp. of citric acid and place them back onto the cooling rack to set for 4-12 hours until dry.
  11. Store in an air-tight container or Mason jar for up to 4 weeks.

Sour Candied Citrus Peels

Heinen's Grocery Store

By Heinen's Grocery Store

In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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