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How to Make Citrus Shreds

How to Make Citrus Shreds

Leafy oranges, lemons and limes bring cheer during the winter, when all else feels grey and gloomy. Make the most of any beautiful specimens you find by trying your hand at making sugared citrus garnishes for cakes.


Makes enough to decorate 12 individual mini loaf cakes made in unit 4

For the citrus shreds:
1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
100g caster sugar (in a tray for coating)

For the sugar syrup:
50g caster sugar
100ml water


  1. Bring a small pan of water to boiling point.
  2. Whilst the water is heating, prepare the shreds. Using a peeler remove the zest of the citrus fruits leaving as much pith behind as possible.
  3. Use a serrated fruit knife to remove the excess pith from the back of the citrus shreds.
  4. Trim the edges off the citrus strips to neaten them and then cut each piece of peel into julienne strips.
  5. Transfer the shreds to the boiling water and blanch for a 1 minute. Strain the shreds through a sieve and set aside while you make the sugar syrup.
  6. Line a tray with kitchen paper to place your blanched citrus shreds on once poached in the sugar syrup.
  7. Now make your sugar syrup. Add the sugar and water to the pan and put on a low heat and agitate the sugar until it begins to dissolve. When the sugar has dissolved, brush down the sides of the pan using a pastry brush dipped into water, this will help stop the syrup from crystallizing. Turn up the heat and add the blanched needle shreds.
  8. Allow the shreds to cook in the sugar syrup for about 2 minutes until softened.
  9. Strain the needle shreds and transfer to your kitchen paper to remove any excess sugar syrup and liquid. Once well drained, transfer to the tray of caster sugar for coating.
  10. Once well drained, transfer to the tray of caster sugar for coating.
  11. Toss in the caster sugar to coat, you may need to run your hands through to separate out the shreds.
  12. The easiest way to store these to prevent clumping is to put them on a plate with some extra sugar  for a couple of weeks at room temperature.

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