Candied Clementines and Oranges

Candied Clementines and Oranges bring a special festive flair to whatever you’re serving. Delicious as a sweet finish to your grazing table, charcuterie or cheese board. Whether you’re using oranges, clementines or mandarins, they’re a real treat and so adorable. One bite and I’m back in my grandmother’s kitchen. Every time she peeled an orange, she’d freeze the chunks until she had enough to make candied peel. I vividly remember “Waste Not Want Not” and “A Moment on the Lips, a Lifetime on the Hips” side by side fridge magnets and a glass jar of homemade candied orange peel on the counter. A little bite satisfied her sweet tooth. Inspired by NYTimes Cold Candied Oranges recipe, our recipe for Candied Clementines is a nod to traditional candied orange peel with the added benefits of being visually stunning and providing deep rich infused syrup to use in cocktails and mocktails. This recipe also works for lemons and limes and check out some yummy variations listed after the recipe! Makes 12 clementines or mandarin oranges or 6 small oranges such as Cara Cara.


  • 12 clementines
  • 6 cups sugar
  • water


  1. Wash clementines well. Using a channeling zester (like this one from Amazon) create strips of peels from top to bottom. Set zest strips aside. The end result resembles a pumpkin. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to boil on the stove. Once boiling, submerge clementines in the water and reduce to a simmer. Cover with a heavy lid (smaller than the pot) or plate to keep them submerged. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the fruit you’re using. This step is important in reducing bitterness from the pith just under the skin. Strain clementines and discard the water.
  2. To the same pot, add sugar and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to a heavy simmer and allow to bubble uncovered for 5 minutes. Add clementines and the strips to the sugar water. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cover with heavy lid (smaller than the pot) or plate to keep them submerged. You may have to turn heat all the way down to the lowest setting to accomplish a very slow bubble. If you have a candy thermometer, you’re looking for 170° to 185° F. But if you don’t have a candy thermometer, look for intermittent bubbles, super slow blurps. (Yes, that’s what I said.) Cook clementines at this temperature for about 1 hour. You’re looking for a glossy, slightly translucent appearance.
  3. Turn off heat. Allow clementines to cool in the syrup. Place clementines with syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours. They’re really best after a day or two. Even better over time. Store them in the syrup in the fridge for up to a month. Slice into sections and garnish with candied zest strips.
  4. Use the syrup on pancakes, lemon and lime aids, iced tea, mocktails, cocktails or any mixed drink. Happy eating!


  • Spiced Candied Clementines: When making the sugar and water syrup, add 1 stick cinnamon, 2 star anise pods, 4 cardamom pods and 1 inch fresh ginger.
  • As a dessert, dust with grated dark chocolate and crushed pistachios or almonds.

Here, Candied Clementines compliment our little Halloween themed table. Served with:

Roasted Eggplant Baba Ganoush (recipe coming soon!)

Classic Caponata (recipe coming soon!)

Spooky Focaccia (click for recipe)

Locally Seasoned Chutneys and small batch cheeses sourced from local producers. We found these delicious gems at Central Wedge Cheese Shop in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Search for small batch cheese producers and purveyors wherever you live. It’s some of the best eating and you feel good supporting local artisanal makers. Here are the cheeses we selected.

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Happy eating!

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