Crystallized Fruit Or Fruit Peel Recipe

candied grapes

Crystallized fruit and fruit peels are beautiful garnishes for many recipes, and they are delicious too. These sparkling treats can be expensive to purchase, but you can make them yourself.

Crystallized Fruit

To crystallize fruit, you'll need a heavy pan and a food thermometer. You will also need some tongs or a wire spider or strainer to remove the food and have some wire racks on hand.

Dried fruits and small fruits, such as cherries or grapes, can be crystallized, along with ginger root and small cut pieces of fruits. This type of product is often called candied fruit. Very soft fruits, such as raspberries, do not crystallize well.


  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • Whole pitted cherries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, gooseberries, or grapes
  • Dried figs, raisins, or dates
  • Slices of apple, peaches, cored pineapple, or melon
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar


  1. Combine 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, honey, corn syrup, and water in a large heavy saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat.
  3. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom or sides of the pan.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and cook the sugar syrup to 235°F.
  5. Add about 2 cups of the fruit or fruit slices to the sugar syrup.
  6. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the fruit you are cooking, or until the fruit is soft and transparent. Cranberries may need to be cooked for 60 to 70 minutes.
  7. Remove the fruit carefully from the syrup using the tongs or a wire spider and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with any remaining fruit.
  8. Put 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.
  9. Drop the cooled candied fruit into the sugar and roll to coat. Let the fruit stand on the wire rack until the sugar coating is dry.
  10. Store in an airtight container in a cool place up to 2 weeks. Crystallized fruit does not freeze well.

Crystallized Fruit Peel

You can crystallize the peel of lemons, grapefruit, oranges, or watermelon rind. Don't try to crystallize lime peel as it may turn brown. Peel must be blanched in plain water before you candy it, or the finished product will be bitter.


Candied citrus peels
  • Peel of 4 lemons, 2 grapefruit, 3 oranges, or 2 cups watermelon rind
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  1. The peel should be cut into 1/4" strips about 1 to 2 inches long.
  2. Put the peel into a large heavy saucepan and cover with water.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the peel for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the peel and set aside.
  5. Combine 2 cups sugar, light corn syrup, and water in the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  6. Add the blanched peel and bring back to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the peel is soft. This should take 40 to 50 minutes.
  8. Put 1 cup granulated sugar on a plate or shallow bowl.
  9. Remove the peel from the simmering syrup using a fine strainer and drop it into the sugar.
  10. Stir the peel in the sugar until it is coated.
  11. Place the peel on a fine wire rack and let it stand until the sugar coating is firm.
  12. You can store the peel in an airtight container up to 2 weeks, or wrap well and freeze up to 2 months.

Variations and Tips

Candied orange peels dipped in chocolate

Follow tips and try variations for success:

  • You can re-coat the crystallized fruit or peel in sugar after it has been stored for a while.
  • You can dip candied fruit and peels in melted chocolate. Melt chocolate, dip part of the candied fruit or peel, and let stand until firm on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet.
  • The sugar syrup used to cook the peel and fruit can be saved and used again to make more crystallized fruit or peel. It can also be added to cake batters or used as a syrup over pancakes or waffles.
  • Use these beautiful fruits and peels to garnish cakes, fruitcake, or holiday pies.
  • These products make great gifts. Package them in cellophane bags and tie with a pretty ribbon.

Have Fun Making Beautiful Crystallized Fruits and Peels

Make these products for gifts or to garnish your holiday table. The sparkling fruits and peels add interest to any dessert and are good to eat, too.

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Crystallized Fruit Or Fruit Peel Recipe