Dried orange peel

During the winter months, citrus fruit is a refreshing treat when served with a bowl of hot soup. Citrus fruits are typically harvested between October and June, and are at the height of harvest and most plentiful in February. While citrus fruits are typically eaten fresh, they can also be preserved in a variety of ways. Warm up your kitchen and take advantage of the abundance of citrus fruit at lower prices this winter with these options.

Canning. Follow these instructions for canning grapefruit and orange sections.

  • Freezing. Citrus fruits can be frozen with a syrup pack, in their own juice, with a little sugar or without any sugar.
  • Drying. Citrus peels add refreshing flavor to beverages and sweet treats, such as cookies. Peels of citron, grapefruit, lime, lemon, tangelo and tangerine can be dried with no pretreatment. Thicker peels dry best. Wash thoroughly. Remove the white bitter pith. Dry in a dehydrator 8-12 hours.
  • Orange jelly. If you haven’t tried this, you should! It’s even easier using frozen orange juice concentrate. 
  • Spiced orange jelly. This is a spicy treat that uses fresh orange and lemon juice.
  • Apricot-orange conserve. This fruit and nut combination uses canned or dried apricots and oranges. It is thickened by cooking instead of added pectin.
  • Citrus marmalade. Grapefruit, orange and lemon add zing to this marmalade, which is particularly tasty on muffins or biscuits.
  • Cranberry marmalade. Cranberries and citrus are a perfect pair! Try this recipe, which features fresh oranges, lemon and cranberries.
  • Lemon or lime curd. Add some European flair to your breakfast or dessert! This recipe uses bottled lemon or lime juice due to their standardized acid content. Do not use fresh lemon or lime juice in this recipe because their acid content is variable.
  • Candied citrus peel. Candied citrus peel can satisfy your sweet tooth. Dip part of the candied peel in some melted dark chocolate for a decadent treat.

Go to MU Extension's Food Preservation program for more home food preservation tips.