Friday, December 4, 2009

candied lemon peel

Remember how pretty candied lemon peel looked on the mini cheesecake bites? Well, it's super easy to make, and I'm going to show you how!

I borrowed the recipe from Epicurious, which is usually a pretty reliable resource. Other recipes I researched seemed pretty similar. This recipe is just for one lemon, but you can easily scale it to make more. You probably don't need to increase the sugar and water by that all much; just keep the proportions the same and make sure there's enough sugar-water to cover the lemon peels.*

Candied Lemon Peel
1 lemon, washed well
2 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) sugar, divided

Cut a small slice off the top and bottom of the lemon. This will make it easier to remove the peel. I like to use a vegetable peeler to try to make nice, wide, vertical strips. You can always cut them smaller after they are candied. Try to remove just the yellow part, as the white pith is bitter. The recipe says to reserve the lemons for another use, but my favorite thing to do is to juice them, pour the juice in a ziploc, and freeze it. Then you have fresh lemon juice whenever a recipe calls for it. Moving on.

In a small saucepan, pour two cups of cold water over the peels. Bring to a boil, then drain off the water. Add two more cups of water, repeat, and then do it one more time. Remove the peels from the pan and set them aside.

Place two cups of sugar and one cup of water in the saucepan. (Again, if you're making more than one lemon's worth - and why wouldn't you? - keep the 2:1 sugar:water ratio.) Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add the peels and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the peels are tender and translucent. Remove the peels and let them cool. Reserve the lemon simple syrup for another use. It's really tasty, and it's great for brushing on the layers of a cake, or over ice cream. Be creative.

Place 1/2 cup of sugar in a shallow bowl. Add the peels and toss to coat. Actually, a ziploc bag would probably work well for this. Remove the peels, one at a time, and shake off the excess sugar. Lay the peels on a cookie rack set over a cookie sheet to let them dry and harden a bit. Store them in an airtight container. They will keep for several weeks. If you package them in a pretty jar or box, they would make a really nice gift!

* 11/4/13 ETA: I just made some candied lemon peel with three lemons and these same water/sugar proportions. I think you could easily do anywhere from 1-4 lemons without needing to adjust the recipe. More than that, I might add another 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar (increase the recipe by 1/4) to ensure the lemon syrup covers the peels adequately.


Sarah McGill said...

Thank you for this. You inspired me to make candied lemon peel for the 1st time this weekend and it turned out great!

jami said...

Sarah - I'm so glad!! Thanks for letting me know.