Cubed Sugar Free Keto Candied Orange and Lemon Peel

Sugar Free Keto Candied Orange and Lemon Peel

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A MUST HAVE ingredient for your holiday baking – Sugar-Free Keto Candied Orange and Lemon Peel! Soft, sweet, and aromatic, and so much better than the sugary store brands!

Candied peel, succade, glazed fruit, crystallized fruit peel, or Zitronat (in German). There are many words for this essential Christmas baking ingredient, but they all refer to that sugary lemon or orange peel that we find most often in fruitcakes.

For this year’s holidays, I’m planning on baking a Keto Weihnachtsstollen (a traditional German Christmas bread). It combines all the distinct Christmas flavors of cinnamon, citrus fruits, and rum, and candied orange or lemon peel is one of the ingredients. However, I was not planning to use store-bought candied orange peel that is made with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and added colors or flavors!

Instead, I decided to try to make homemade SUGAR-FREE Keto Orange and Lemon Peel, and it worked out magnificently! The candied peel turned out sweet, soft, and aromatic! I can’t wait to use it for my German Keto Stollen!

How to use candied citrus peel!

The uses of this keto ingredient are countless! It’s a great low-carb substitute for raisins (say in raisin bread or ricotta cheesecake), could be used in keto granola bars or trail mixes, Christmas cookies, a filling for pound cake, or you could dip the whole candied orange/lemon slice into some melted chocolate for a special treat!

How to make homemade succade!

Basically, the goal is to replace the bitter peel with a sweet sugar syrup. Well, in our case, we will replace it with a sweet sugar-free syrup!

First, we will peel our citrus fruit and cut the peel into strips. By boiling the peel in water (3 times), we will cook away the bitterness. Now we are ready to cook our peel in our sugar-free syrup that consists of water, erythritol, and allulose. The cooking process takes about 45 minutes, until most of the water is cooked away. Now we just need to dry our candied peel for 24 hours!

Follow these tips for perfectly sweet and soft Keto Candied Orange and Lemon Peel!

Citrus fruit. The peel of just about any citrus fruit will work: orange, lemon, or lime. I usually use 1 orange and 1 lemon. Just make sure to pick ORGANIC fruit to avoid consuming any harmful chemicals from the peel. Wash and dry the fruit.

Prepare fruit. We will candy the whole peel, yes both the white pith and rind. The pith is important to make the finished sugar-free candied peel soft and not brittle. Don’t worry, the white part of the peel won’t make the end product bitter because WE WILL COOK AWAY THE BITTERNESS!

To peel the fruit, use a small, sharp knife to cut off the bottom and top. Next, score the peel into quarters. This will make it really easy for you to peel the fruit, quarter by quarter. Slice each quarter into thin strips (about 1/4″ thick), and you have just prepared your orange/lemon peel for the next step.

Sweetener. Traditionally, the peel is cooked in a sugary syrup until most of the fruit is basically replaced by sugar. Well, in this keto version we obviously can’t do that. Instead, we use erythritol AND allulose. I highly recommend both of these sweeteners for this recipe. Erythritol alone will result in a hard and crunchy peel. By adding some allulose, the end product will be nice and soft, even after drying. That’s what we want.

Cooking. We need to cook the peel 3 times, with fresh water each time, to remove that bitterness from our citrus fruits and soften the rind: Place the prepared orange/lemon peel into a small saucepan, cover with water, sprinkle with some salt, and cook on a low boil for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and repeat two more times (without salt).

Candying the peel. Now the peel is ready to cook in the “sugar” syrup. Combine 1/2 cup erythritol and 1/2 cup allulose with 1 cup of water in your small saucepan. Bring this sugar water to a low boil and stir to dissolve the sweeteners. As soon as you see the mixture bubble, turn down heat, add your peel, and simmer for 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Keep the heat low – you don’t want the syrup or peel to burn!

Drying the peel. Once most of the water has evaporated and a thin syrup remains, remove from heat. Transfer the candied peel on a cooling rack to dry (line either the rack or the countertop with parchment paper for easy clean-up). Dry the peel for at least 24 hours. If using for baking, chop the dried slices into little cubes.

After cooking, there will be a bit of syrup leftover. You don’t need to waste it. I add some to my water for a sweet/sour drink.

Storing. Traditional candied fruit lasts years on the countertop. But our sugar-free keto candied orange/lemon peel will only last about 2 WEEKS in the fridge. If you are not planning on using it right away, you can freeze it in an airtight container!

Soft and sweet SUGAR-FREE Keto Candied Orange and Lemon Peel!

Close-up of cubed Sugar Free Keto Candied Orange and Lemon Peel

USE YOUR HOMEMADE SUGAR-FREE PEEL IN THESE KETO RECIPES

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Christmas Stollen
Cubed Sugar Free Keto Candied Orange and Lemon Peel

Sugar-Free Keto Candied Orange and Lemon Peel

A MUST HAVE ingredient for your holiday baking – Sugar-Free Keto Candied Orange and Lemon Peel! Soft, sweet, and aromatic, and so much better than the sugary store brands!
4.70 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Condiments, Dessert
Cuisine German, Keto
Servings 12 tablespoons
Calories 1 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Wash and scrub the fruit with warm water. To peel, use a small, sharp knife to cut off the bottom and top. Next, score the peel into quarters and peel the fruit. Slice each quarter into thin strips (about 1/4" thick).
  • Place the prepared orange/lemon peel into a small saucepan, cover with water, sprinkle with some salt, and cook on a low boil for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and repeat two more times (without salt). After boiling the peel for a third time, drain, and rinse again, but this time leave the peel in your strainer.
  • Combine erythritol, allulose, and 1 cup of water in small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a low boil and stir to dissolve the sweeteners. As soon as you see the mixture bubble, turn down heat, add your peel, and simmer for 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Keep the heat low – you don't want the syrup or peel to burn!
  • Once most of the water has evaporated and a thin syrup remains, remove from heat. Transfer the candied peel on a cooling rack to dry (line either the rack or the countertop with parchment paper for easy clean-up). Dry the peel for at least 24 hours. Chop the dried slices into little cubes if you want to use them for baking later.
  • Store the candied peel in an airtight container in your fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Video

Notes

The peel of just about any citrus fruit will work: orange, lemon, or lime. I usually use 1 orange and 1 lemon. For oranges only, pick 2 medium oranges. For lemons only, use 3 lemons. Pick organic fruit to avoid pesticides. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbspCalories: 1kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 1g
Keyword holiday baking, keto dessert, Keto ingredients, sugar-free dessert
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

17 Comments

  1. I boiled three times and the peels were still quite bitter. Will the sweetness of my recipe help offset it? Or should I try boiling a few more times?

    • Hi Christina,
      I think 3 times should be enough. Once you cook them in the syrup, the peel will be completely saturated with the sweetener. Please let me know how it turns out 🙂

    • Allie, I haven’t tried it this way, but your idea certainly made me curious. It would probably make the texture drier, but I don’t see why it should not be possible. If you do try to dehydrate them, let me know how they turn out smile 😊

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. I made it as written and it tastes exactly like candied citrus peel made with sugar. I will share your blog with my WW friends!

  3. i just made the candied peels and tripled the recipe to have some to use in the future,,,do I just discard the syrup after puttng the peels on parchment paper on the drying rack?

  4. I only have erythritol and monk fruit-Can I use substitute half a cup of allulose with a quarter cup of monk fruit?

    • Helena, pure monk fruit is much, much sweeter than (about 100x sweeter than allulose). So 1/4 cup would be too much BUT I don’t know if you have pure monk fruit or if it’s a combo of sweeteners…
      The advantage of allulose is that it keeps the peel soft. However, you can try just upping the erythritol or subbing with a small amount of monk fruit. I can’t guarantee results, but if you don’t mind experimenting:)… If you do, please share your results!

    • You could use only erythritol. The advantage of allulose is that it doesn’t recrystalize after heating. So by just using erythritol, your peel would end up harder.

  5. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! So easy and delicious. I used the extra syrup to make candy dots. So fun and yummy. I usually have issues with erythritol but blending with the allulose was perfect.

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