Candied Pomelo Peel - An Ode to my Father

14.1.22 | Recipe by Renz

A bittersweet candy, that can be used as an afternoon snack by itself or incorporated into baked goods for a delicious flavor addition.

A picture of dried pomelo peel on a white plate with an orange bowl of sugar

You are probably wondering why the connection between candy and my Dad right? Well of all the childhood memories I have eating stuff that my dad made, this one of candied citrus peel stands out the most.

My dad always used shaddocks (what we called pomelo) and it was such a treat. You can just about any citrus fruit you can find that has a good enough amount of white pith.

I loved that this was a combination of fruit, sweet and bitter all in one. I know he continuously had to tell us, "don't eat any more today" as my sister and I would go grab strips after strips.

You will need to have a little patience for this treat, but your ingredients are simple and more than likely already in your house.

We just love using all the parts of our citrus fruits, a popular favorite being lime juice


What is Pomelo and how to select a good one?

Pomelos also spelled pummelo or pommelo and what we call shaddocks, are a citrus species that is native to Southeast Asia. It is the largest citrus fruit. I have seen some on our tree almost as big as a watermelon.

It is an ancestor of the grapefruit and really just tastes just about the same. It is fleshier and has more pith. There are two varieties of them: sweet and sour. The skin color can vary from green to yellow.

They are packed with vitamin C and rich in fiber and other vitamins and nutrients like copper, fiber and potassium, and other health benefits.

Their season is usually around February. So if you see them outside of that time they could be either under-ripe or have been sitting around for a while.

It is best to have them when they are fresh and a nice green in color.

Since I don't have a tree here, I have to buy them from the supermarket. I don't always find them but when I do I want to make sure I am not selecting bad ones.

When choosing I look for:

  • nice green or yellow
  • no brown spots



Ingredients for making candied pomelo

  • Pomelo peels
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cups water
  • Ginger


Deep pot
Paring knife or a long-bladed knife


How to peel the pomelo

This fruit is very versatile, in that you can use all parts of it. I peel them the same way all the time because I find this to be an effective technique.

I score the whole thing into four sections with a knife. Might go up to 8 sections if it's larger. Cutting deep but not too deep into the flesh of the fruit.


Pictures how to cut a pomelo to peel it

I then take my finger and place it into the pomelo pith, and slowly pull back to separate the rind from the fruit flesh. Do each section until completed.

Using a paring knife makes it easier.

Step by step for getting the pith off of a pomelo

Now you have peel separated from the fruit.

Now it's time to show the utilization of pomelo peel


Preparation of candy

Cut the peels into thin strips about 1/2 inch wide strips. If you just want to make candy as a snack, you can make them thicker.

These are bitter rinds so we need to remove that bitterness from them. We are going to scald the rinds in water to remove those oils. Place them in a large saucepan and pour boiling water over them. Let that boil for about five minutes then pour that water off. It would be good to have a kettle with water.

Pour water off and repeat this process four times using fresh water each time.  Do not skip it.

Drain peels for the last time and set aside.

In the same pan, we need to make a sugar syrup. Add the sugar, cold water, and ginger to the pot and stir gently and let the sugar dissolve. Do this on a low simmer.

Add the peel to the syrup and mix to coat with the sugar syrup. Cover the pot partially, and let it simmer on low until the syrup is absorbed as much as possible without burning.

Add peel to sugar mixture and cover partially. Simmer for 1 hour. Peels would get tender and syrup will absorb (as much as possible). I go in occasionally to stir and pour syrup over the ones at the top.

While that is going on, you can line your baking sheet with wax paper as this is where you will lay them out to dry.

Transfer the peels from the pan to the wax paper and allow them to cool a bit for about 10 minutes.

Take the remaining cup of sugar and sprinkle or roll the strips in it.

You then need to leave then on a cooling rack to continue to dry. They can be left overnight.

The end result:  a tart citrus skin with a sweet taste.

I had to stop myself from eating these out during the process.


Picture of pomelo peels with sugar layered on


We usually leave those tubs of citrus peel out on our shelves at room temperature for months on end and no issues. But this homemade version needs to be stored in the fridge to get the best life span. IT can actually get moldy left outside.

Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator and it would stay for months.


Packing pomelo peels into a glass jar to store

How to use mixed peel

We have always eaten this as a snack. Just grab strips of it and chomp away.

But the strips can be chopped up and used in a variety of baked goods. It is common for us to use the peel in our sweet bread and some Christmas cakes. 


My candied peel is bitter

That means you did not discard the oils as required. It is important to boil and throw off that water to strip the rinds of the bitter taste. You must boil it at least 4 times. Also, try to remove areas where the pith is extremely thick. 

I can't find pummelos

You can use any citrus like oranges, grapefruits for this. You can even use limes and tangerines. If you can find all you can use them all together and have a mixed citrus peel. Would be great for color.

Best way to clean

It's important to make sure you clean the fruit thoroughly. It's also good to buy organic ones. but if not, just make sure you scrub them well to remove any chemicals or wax from the outside.

My strips are soft

Sometimes when in high humidity places it really takes a while for the strips to firm up. If this is you, or even if you are short on time, you can place them flat on a baking tray and bake for an hour at 170 degrees. They will harden up around the edges.


  1. Serious trip back into my childhood! I used to LOVE these

    1. I loved having it again too. Really took me back to running free lol

  2. I've never done this, but your tutorial makes it look really simple! In Florida, we've got a lot of citrus - so I'd better get busy!

  3. It is citrus season here so this is perfect

  4. Fantastic treat here! Thanks for great idea; we've never made this but I've always wanted to!

  5. I don't think I've ever had candied citrus peels before. They're beautiful! I love the idea of using them in a carrot cake. Do you use them as a garnish or bake them into it?

  6. Funny I have never done this at home, but tend to just buy it. Looks great and I'm sure tastes much better too.


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