I have always purchased my candied lemon peel, usually around the holidays, and then use them during the year. But I wanted to make my own for a change. So, I set out to see how mine would turn out compared to the packaged ones I buy.
With making my own, I know there is nothing else in my candied lemon peel but lemons and sugar. But if you are going to make your own, do it the day before you are going to need them.
Just a Few Ingredients
All you need is a couple of lemons and sugar. I used two different sugars for making my candied lemon peel.
I used regular white sugar to make the simple syrup that the lemon peel is cooked, and fine sugar (Walmart) or caster sugar (I also found it at Whole Foods) to coat the sticky strips.
How to Make Candied Lemon Peel
The white pith is between the yellow skin and the yellow lemon fruit. So, if you take a bite at this stage, it isn't very pleasant.
Some people cut all of the pith out others do not get rid of it. So, I did a happy medium. The more pith you allow, the more times you will need to blanch the lemon peel strips to help eliminate the bitterness.
Prepping The Lemon
Cut the ends off the lemon and cut the lemon into quarters. Cut the lemon fruit out so you only have the pith and skin.
I took a spoon and scraped some of the pith and any lemon fruit left behind before cutting it into strips.
Turn the lemon peel, so it is facing you and cut into ¼" strips.
Bring a saucepan fill halfway with water to a boil and add the lemon strips to the boiling water. Boil for a couple of minutes then drain. This process is called blanching.
Blanching Lemon Peel
Repeat the blanching 4 or 5 times with new clean water each time. This process helps to get rid of most of the bitterness.
While the lemon strips are being blanched, you can make the simple syrup. Take 1 cup of warm or hot water and 1 cup of regular white sugar.
Mix the sugar water together and set it aside. After the last blanching of the lemon strips, add the strips back into the empty saucepan.
Adding the Candied to Lemon Peel
Take the simple syrup and pour it over the lemon strips just so it is covering them. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer.
Simmer the lemon peel in the simple syrup, stirring occasionally. Simmer the lemon peel for an hour or until the lemon peel is soft and translucent.
Drain the lemon peel strips and let them drip most of the syrup off in a strainer.
I take a piece of parchment paper and lay the lemon strip out in a single layer. I let them soak in the syrup and dry some before getting candied.
I added about ½ cup of the caster or fine sugar to a paper plate. Take the sticky lemon strips and coat them with the fine sugar.
I laid a fresh sheet of parchment paper down on my counter. I then laid the candied lemon peel strip in a single layer to finish drying. You can check them in a few hours to see if they have dried out or leave them over night to finish.
I wanted my candied lemon peel to be on the soft side since they would be used in my cookies so I only waited a couple of hours.
Finishing the Candied Peel
When they are firm enough for you, I line up 3 or 4 of the strips and cut them into about ¼ pieces.
Store the candied lemon peel in an airtight container.
Candied lemon peel will last about a month in an airtight container in your pantry. You can prolong the shelf life by storing the container in the refrigerator.
Yes, you can also do oranges, grapefruit, and limes. It is the same process, but the grapefruit may need another blanching to help get rid of the bitterness.
Yes, store in an airtight container or a freezer zip-lock bag for a few months.
Yes, but when they are candied and dried, they do not give you much in the way of texture in a cookie since they are so small and thin. These are great however for cocktails where you can make them let's say a spiral shape.
More Lemon Cookies and Bars
Candied Lemon PeelBarbara Hall
- 1 cup Lemon peel
- 1 cup Sugar white
- ½ cup Caster sugar
- Start by cutting off the ends and then cut the lemon into quarters. Now, cut out the lemon flesh so all you have is the outside yellow peel and some white pith. I used a spoon to scrape some of the pith out. Next, cut the quarters into ¼" strips.
- Take a small saucepan. and add water. Bring the water to a boil and add the lemon strips. Boil for 3 minutes, then drain. Repeat with fresh water each time for 4 or 5 boiling of the lemon peels. This depends on how much pith is still left on the lemon peel. If there is most of the pith, do it 5 times.
- Add 1 cup of white sugar to 1 cup of warm or hot water in a bowl or measuring cup and stir to combine to make the simple syrup. After you have drained the lemon peel for the last time, add them back to the empty saucepan. Add the simple syrup to where it is just covering the lemon peel. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for up to an hour to reduce the syrup. Check and stir frequently.
- You want the syrup to cook down and leave the lemon peel sticky. Drain the lemon peel. It may take a couple of minutes for the syrup to drain. Line the lemon peel strip single layer on parchment paper to dry for a couple of hours.
- Place the fine sugar on a plate and dredge the lemon peel through the sugar to coat all sides. Lay them on a fresh piece of parchment paper for the final drying. Check them in an hour or two to see how firm they are before cutting them into small pieces for your cookies. Store them in an airtight container until you can make the cookies. They will last for a week or two. Refrigerate if it is a longer time frame.
I am not a certified Dietitian or Nutritionist. The nutrition amounts given below are provided through a program and are only a guideline.
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