Candied Lemon Peel
If you have never had HOMEMADE lemon peel, you are in for a treat. It's simply incomparable, and I love having it on hand in the fridge.
4 large, firm, organic lemons, ends trimmed
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
- To peel the lemons, slice off both ends. Insert a very sharp, small knife between the peel and the membrane that hugs the flesh, about ¼-inch deep, and work the knife all the way around the end of the lemon. Repeat on the other end.
- Make 4 equally spaced, ¼-inch deep, lengthwise slices through the peel. With the fingernail of your thumb and the help of your forefinger, pry each section of peel off the lemon, ideally leaving the membrane with the flesh of the lemon. (Reserve lemons for another use.)
- Cut each quarter piece of lemon peel lengthwise into 2-4 strips.
- Lay each strip peel-side down on a cutting board and with a very sharp, small knife sliver off as much of the pith as you can. Don't worry about getting it all, however. You want some depth to the peel.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a simmer.
- To blanch the lemon peel and rid it of most of the bitterness in the pith, add the peel to the simmering water in the saucepan, simmer for 2 minutes and drain into a colander.
- Repeat twice more, using fresh cold water each time.
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water and slowly bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. The sugar syrup should clear before the syrup reaches a simmer. If it doesn't clear, lower the heat to beneath a simmer and continue whisking until the syrup is clear. Then bring back to a simmer.
- Add the triple blanched lemon peels to the sugar syrup and simmer gently for about 1 hour, until the peel is translucent and tender.
- To test, lift a piece of peel from the syrup, let it cool slightly and then sample. If you can easily bite through the peel, it's done. If not, continue simmering until the peel in fully tender. If the syrup becomes too thick, add additional water.
- When the peel is tender, remove from the heat.
- With a fork or small tongs, gently remove each piece of peel from the syrup and lay on a wire rack set on an edged baking sheet. Let cool completely and then dry for several hours.
- A few pieces at a time, toss the peel in sugar to coat and set on a clean wire rack to dry.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several days or in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Candied Orange Peel
- Use 2 large oranges instead of the lemons.
Candied Grapefruit Peel
- Use 1 large grapefruit instead of the lemons.
Candied Lime Peel
- Use large limes instead of the lemons.
Copyright 2013 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.