When life gives you lemon peels… make your own candy!
When Meyer lemons are in season (November through the end of May), I try to make the most out of them – after all, they’re one of the most ambrosial citrus fruits out there, so it’s well worth making all kinds of dishes with them while you can.
While Meyer lemon juice finds its way into many of my recipes, it always breaks my heart to throw away the peels. Making Limoncello or making these candied peels is a great way not to waste any part of the gorgeous fruit!
Candied Meyer lemon peels
makes 3 cups (10 oz) (285 g)
active time: 45 min
- 2 1/4 lbs (1 kg) Meyer lemons (6 large)
- 2 cups organic sugar
- 1 cup spring water
- 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 cup organic sugar to coat the peels
- Step 1: Cut the lemons in half and juice them. Reserve 1/2 cup of the juice for this recipe and refrigerate or freeze the balance of the juice for another use. Scrape the membrane lining the inside of the lemon halves with a spoon and discard. Cut the lemon shells in half, cut the stem ends off, and then cut the peels lengthwise in 3/8″ strips. You should have 4 cups of lemon strips.
- Step 2: Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the lemon peels and boil for 5 minutes. Strain and repeat this process 2 more times, boiling a fresh pot of water each time. (This will remove the bitterness.) Drain peels thoroughly and set aside.
- Step 3: Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the lemon peels, reduce heat to medium-low and slow-simmer for about 1 hour until the peels are translucent. Strain the peels and place them on a cooling rack, spreading them so they are not touching. Let stand 12 to 24 hours to air-dry. Alternatively, place in a food dehydrator and dry the peels for 2 to 3 hours at 135ºF (57°C). To coat the peels, place the sugar on a plate. Roll each peel in the sugar, pressing the sugar into each slice with the tips of your fingers. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (preferably below 70ºF (21°C)) for up to three months.
- If Meyer lemons are not available, you can make this recipe with regular lemons – but they must be fresh, with a firm skin, and as fragrant as you can get them. Since regular lemons are more acidic than Meyer lemons, use 1 1/4 cups of water and only 1/4 cup of lemon juice to candy the peels.