I followed recipes from some of my favorite confectioners and bakers for a week and was left somewhat unsatisfied. I cannot blame them, I will shoulder the responsibility for massacring their instruction. That being the case, I will also shoulder the responsibility for crafting a new set of directions for candying lemon peel. This is not a new trick, it is simply good, old, cooking at its best. When we slowly replace water content in food with sugar we act to reduce the amount of H2O necessary to support the growth of bacteria and microbes. Which is to say, we preserve the food. Sugar is a most excellent prison for your lemons. Keep them alive far past their due date with this solution.
- 6 Whole Lemons
- Water for boiling
- 3 cups Water (yes, in addition)
- 350 grams Sugar (be adventurous, pick something unrefined)
- 30 grams Honey
- Quarter the lemons lengthwise.
- Separate the skin from the flesh by sliding your thumb between the two, an act I find so deliriously satisfying I am in danger of disemboweling lemons solely for my thumb's delight. Save the flesh quarters and press them for juice. Leave this in a jar in your fridge for salad dressings. Now attend to the rind.
- Bring to boil a pot of water, not too large, simply enough to cover the lemon leaves. Boil the rind-quarters for 2o minutes, until tender and still bright yellow. Remove them from the water.
- Drain that now bitter water and set to making the syrup (in the same pot, mind you). Add the listed 3 cups water, sugar, and honey. Bring the solution to boil over high heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the lemon rind to the syrup and drop the heat to simmer. Cook the rind for 45 minutes, until the syrup has permeated the skins.
- Remove the skins from the syrup to a a rack on a tray. Heat your oven to 175 degrees and slide the tray inside. Dry the lemon rind for 35-45 minutes, until they are tacky (but not wet) to the touch.
- Strain the lemon syrup into a jar and reserve for cocktails. This is imperative.
- Store the candied lemon in a jar on your counter and nibble at the candy impetuously as long as it will also. The yellow treat makes a delightful addition to nearly every cake, is elegant dipped in chocolate, and positively graceful as a gift. Enjoy!