I have been wanting to make Candied Lemon Peel forever. If you have tasted the preservative-laden candied citron available in the typical grocery store, you understand why I had to make my own. There must be a better candied lemon peel product somewhere, but I haven’t found it. (Could this be it?)
What finally pushed me over the edge was the Candied Lemon Sage Tea Cake I am working on. To give it an over-the-top lemon flavor and a little texture besides, it needed chopped candied lemon peel. I made a double batch, so I will also be trying it out in Candied Lemon Brown Butter Friands and Candied Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies over the next week. I’m sure there are dozens of uses for it.
Now that I’ve gone down this path, I can see that I will have to keep the LunaCafe OtherWorldly Kitchen stocked with candied lemon peel from now on. It’s simply incomparable with a cup of tea or espresso. So much sensational flavor in such a tiny, guilt-free bite.
Everyone suggests dipping the peels in chocolate, but I can’t imagine why. I love them plain, with only a dusting of sugar to alleviate any remaining stickiness.
A word of caution: Many recipes for this simple preparation are wildly off the mark. The first recipe I tried was for candied lemon slices, and it called for simmering the slices in simple syrup for 15 minutes. Perhaps lemons vary in peel tenderness from region to region, but 15 minutes didn’t even come close to tenderizing my lemon peels. In fact, an hour was barely sufficient, and in addition to that hour, I also blanched the peels for 6 minutes before immersing them in the syrup. The rule here should be “until tender to the tooth.”