Candied Grapefruit Peel Recipe

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My mother always made this fruity holiday sweet-and so do I. It takes time, but the house is filled with a Christmasy" aroma while the grapefruit cools-and the candied sticks are simply delicious!
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1-3/4 hours + cooling
MAKES:64 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1-3/4 hours + cooling
MAKES: 64 servings


  • 3 medium grapefruit
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water

Nutritional Facts

1 serving equals 28 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 37 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, trace protein.


  1. With a sharp knife, score grapefruit into 8 to 10 wedge-shaped sections. Loosen peel with a tablespoon. With a small sharp knife, carefully remove white pith from peel. (Save fruit for another use.)
  2. In a large saucepan, combine peel and salt; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Drain. Repeat process twice (only covering with water and not adding more salt). Cool for 10 minutes. Cut peel into 1/4- to 1/2-in. strips; set aside.
  3. In the same saucepan, combine 1-1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup water. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Add grapefruit peel. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 35-38 minutes or until syrup is almost absorbed and peel is transparent, stirring occasionally (watch carefully to prevent scorching).
  4. Drain any remaining syrup. Cool peel in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet for at least 2-1/2 hours. Sprinkle with remaining sugar if needed. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 1-1/2 cups.
Originally published as Candied Grapefruit Peel in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2003, p28

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