Candied Tangerines


My daughter joined FFA this year and we have already been part of the Mums fundraiser, the Citrus fundraiser and in March they will be selling Tilapia that they have grown themselves. I ordered a box of Tangerines and even though we peeled them, juiced them, and juggled them, we still had more than we could eat before they were destined to go bad. Lately I’ve been fascinated at the idea of harvesting (buying in this instance) and putting aside for another time. Fruit was often candied or jarred in sugar syrup so that it could be enjoyed as an out of season treat. So we decided to candy up a bowl of slices and save a few to dip in chocolate so we can enjoy them on Christmas Eve while we open our presents. (Find the recipe at the end of the post.)

These treats can be eaten as candy, used to garnish holiday drinks such as cocoa, coffee, hot toddies, spiced cider. The slices can also be cut or chopped and added to cookies, quick breads and savory stuffings. There is no limit to what you can do with these morsels.

The recipe is simple enough:

  • 1 part water to 1 part sugar (this is a simple syrup), in a pot, on the heat to dissolve the sugar
  • Add in your slices (or peels) when sugar is dissolved and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Take pot off heat and let rest for 10 minutes
  • Put pot back on heat and simmer for another 30-45 minutes (stirring occasionally), you want the citrus to look completely translucent and you want the syrup to be thick enough to be coating the spoon or spatula that you are using to stir.
  • Take the citrus out of the syrup (don’t throw the syrup away! It will be wonderful in drinks or on waffles) and lay them on a rack to cool.
  • Once cooled, rolled them in sugar. Or shake them in a bag with sugar. Done! Cooling may take several hours, it really depends on the humidity in the air. You may want to set the trays in your oven to keep them in a dryer environment while ‘setting’.
  • But you could go that extra step and dip a few in chocolate…we used bittersweet chips. Yum.

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29 comment on “Candied Tangerines”

  1. Linda Lawrey,

    I don’t think they have FHA anymore. I belonged as a girl in high school. It stands for Future Homemakers of America. They have even changed the name of home economics to something else! We have FFA here, too, and it is open to both girls and boys.

    1. Comment author madme,

      I have a citric acid spray wash that I use. I dump the fruit out in the sink, spray it, let it sit for 2 minutes and rinse. It dissolves the wax!!

  2. Gretchen Popovski,

    How long are they good for? I know about canning, but not candying. Do you just store them in an airtight container? They don’t have to be refrigerated, do they?

    1. Comment author madme,

      Treat them like hard candy. It needs to be sealed away from the air and moisture or they will get sticky and ‘wet.’ I like keeping mine in a jar with a tight fitting lid, they last longer than in a baggie. And I cannot tell you how long they would last like this since ours are always gone within three months. But I know they would go longer if the conditions were right.

  3. Anneke,

    FFA has indeed been for both genders for something like 40 years now. FHA is still around but has been renamed FCCLA – Family, Community and (something) Leaders of America. Of course, when I was in high school we were punks about it and said it stood for Future Cooks and Cleaning Ladies of America. :p

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’m living in China this year and there are all sorts of lovely little tangerines in season. I’m trying it without the peels – I’m peeling and sectioning the tangerines. I’ll let you know how they come out!

    1. Comment author madme,

      Welcome Anneke, thanks for the info. I would love to know how it works for you without the peels. I tried doing just sections, without peels, one time and it didn’t work out for me, so please share if you have any tips.

  4. Elaine S,

    I’m so glad to hear that FFA and things like that still do exist and are for the benefit of boys AND girls! I’ve never known a farmer’s wife who worked any less hard than the farmer did…they do everything, too! Your kids are going to learn so much of value that they would never have learned in the city schools, that will stand them in good stead whether they stay in the country or go back to the city.

    Nobody has responded on my FHA question, though. LOL

  5. heidi,

    wow,those look amazing,and I am so excited that I am going to make them and bring them into my new Certified Organic frozen yogurt store opening in May! I just hope I can find them from an organic produce supplier(otherwise,I will have to make them conventially,and eat them all myself,which,I will happily do!) I am loving you more with each visit.
    Regards and hugs,H

    1. Comment author madme,

      Heidi! Congrats on your store!!!! Woot woot. Sounds amazing, please send me links when you can so I can check it out. And thanks for coming back.

  6. Elaine S,

    I really am showing my age these days. Before I even got to your solution for excess tangerines, I had to go back and read the first 6 words of this blog a second time. I thought you said your daughter joined FFA this year. I didn’t know they even still had FFA in schools. And back in my day, it was a boys’ club. Girls had FHA. (Does anybody know what that means?) Anyway, once I got up to date, I thoroughly enjoyed your candied tangerines and will keep the recipe for the next time we have too many clementines to eat up. Once again, you have added joy to my day. Thank you, my friend!

    1. Comment author madme,

      Elaine, we live in a very small (just a few hundred folks) farming community and she goes to a community school (k-12) where FFA and agriculture classes still exist! I’m from the city (LA and San Diego) so it’s all new to me.

  7. Dina,

    This looks great. I have a bunch in my fridge right now. I want to try these tomorrow with my kids. How thin do you slice the tangerines? Thanks for a good recipe!!

    1. Comment author madme,

      They actually range in size but on average they are about 1/4 inch thick. I think as long as you made sure to cook them until they were translucent, you could make them any thickness.

  8. Amy,

    I’ve never tried making candied fruit of any kind before. This looks like a fun project, though! We often get lots of citrus fruit as gifts this time of year, so I’ll have to try it.

    Visiting from Esther’s cookie swap and glad I did. 🙂

    1. Comment author madme,

      Thank you for visiting. If you do end up making candied fruit, please feel free to visit my FB page, Mad Mad me, and post your pics there for us all to see!

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