Have you ever tried homemade candied lemon peels? If not, you honestly just don’t know what you’re missing! They’re so tasty! Not only are they great to eat by themselves, they make a great garnish for your baked goods and drinks. In our month of lemon love, this is one recipe I threw in as a bonus – they’re relatively quick and easy to make, they store well, and you can keep some on hand for whenever you like!
Lemons aren’t the only citrus you can candy, of course – Limes, oranges and grapefruit all candy nicely with just a few tweaks to the recipe. I don’t recommend using the peels after a piece of fruit has been juiced, because they’re no where near as pretty! Juicing the citrus can mangle the peels, and for this, you want pretty, pretty peels.
Buy the prettiest pieces of citrus you can find for this – bright colors and no discoloration to the peel makes a big difference in how these turn out, and you can use the “uglier” pieces for juicing and zesting.
Helpful hint – when you need fresh squeezed citrus juice, always zest the fruit first! You can store the zest in an air tight container in the freezer and use whenever you want to add a little zing to a sweet or savory dish!
I used the peels I made in this video to garnish my adult version Pink Lemonade – fancy!
See the short video below for tips on both the candied lemon peels and the raspberry simple syrup used in the Pink Lemonade recipe.
- 4 ea. Lemons
- 2 cups Granulated Sugar Plus some extra for coating the peels
- Cold Water About 8 cups total
- Cut the lemons into slices about 1/4 inch thick, then cut those slices in half
- Remove the pulp from the slices
- Place the peels in saucepan, add cold water, and bring to a boil.
- Drain the peels, add more cold water and bring to a boil. Repeat this step one more time, for a total of 3 boils.
- Remove the drained peels from the saucepan and set them aside.
- Add the Sugar and two cups of fresh water to the sauce pan and bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
- Add the lemon peels and simmer until the pith (the white part) is translucent. (about 15 minutes, typically)
- Prepare a cookie sheet by placing a cooling rack inside.
- Remove the peels from the saucepan with tongs or something similar, placing them on the cooling rack in a single layer.
- Put in a 170 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- Place a small amount of granulated sugar in a Ziplock bag, add the peels and shake to coat.
When I'm not using the peels right away, I just leave them in their ziplock bag with the sugar and store them in a cool, dry place. Your refrigerator is not dry! Don't put them in the fridge -
If using different citrus, you may need to add to the initial "boils" to remove the bitterness or to reduce the number of boils if fruit is sweeter, like an orange. Rule of thumb is 2 boils for oranges, 4 boils for grapefruit or limes.