My candied lemon peel is a sugary, sweet treat made from lemon peel that has been simmered in a simple syrup and coated with sugar! These little snacks are great for cocktail garnishes, dessert toppers, or just to eat as candy! They’re so good, you’re going to need to make a bunch!
Start by washing and scrubbing your lemons gently with a vegetable brush. Then, peel them from top to bottom into roughly 2-4" segments with a vegetable peeler (be sure to press firmly so you get an even segment of peel). You can candy the large segments, or slice them into thinner strips about ¼" thick, if desired.
5 large lemons
Pour the water, 1 cup of sugar, and salt into a saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the sugar has dissolved.
2 cups water, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon salt
Next, add the lemon peels. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, reducing heat as needed to prevent a rolling boil. You want to simmer them long enough that they become tender but not so long that they lose their bright yellow color. Give them a stir occasionally to make sure all pieces are exposed to the simple syrup.
Remove the pan from heat and pour in the vanilla. Give it a quick stir to combine, then let the lemon peels sit in the syrup for 5 minutes to absorb all the flavor. Meanwhile, put a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet or parchment paper.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Once the 5 minutes are up, transfer the lemon peels to the wire rack to dry for 20-30 minutes. Then toss them in sugar to coat.
Put the sugar-covered lemon peels back on the cooling rack and let them dry at room temperature for up to 24 hours (until they are no longer sticky to the touch). Once they have dried, store or serve them as desired.
Washing your fruit and scrubbing it lightly with a vegetable brush is very important. During the growing process, many fruits and vegetables are exposed to chemicals and pesticides that you don't want to eat!
A vegetable peeler is the best tool for peeling lemons. With a knife, you may want to go back and remove the white and spongy underside of the lemon peel called the 'pith'. It is very bitter and too much of it might ruin the recipe.
If you are not a fan of lemons, you can also try this recipe with another citrus like oranges, tangerines, limes, or grapefruit!
To store: Keep candied lemon peels in an airtight container somewhere cool and dark such as a cabinet or pantry. Use within 1 month.