When I embarked on my limoncello recipe, I never would have thought it would have led me to candied lemon peels. It just goes to show you when you start down one path it can lead to many other opportunities.
So where did I come up with this idea? It was a spontaneous thought about what to do with all the leftover lemon peels and juice from my homemade Limoncello. I had made a few batches to perfect the recipe, so I had a ton of leftovers to work with.
Throwing them away wasn’t an option, so I wondered if I could candy the steeped leftover lemon peels. With a bit of research and trial and error, I found an excellent way to make these delightful extras.
For those of you who have no desire to make Limoncello and would love to make candied lemon peels, I’ve created a recipe that will work either way.
Candied Lemon Peels
- 2 cups of lemon peels (12 to 14 medium size lemons or 14 to 16 small lemons), Note: I used the leftover peels from my homemade limoncello.
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup filtered or bottled water
- Additional sugar for tossing
Wash the lemons thoroughly to remove any residue. Peel the lemons into strips using a vegetable peeler. Using a small sharp paring knife, carefully trim away the white pith from the lemon peels and discard. You should have 2 cups of prepared peels. Transfer the peels to a medium non-reactive saucepan with enough cold water to cover the peels; bring to a boil for a few minutes and drain. Repeat this for at least three times until the peels are just tender then drain and set aside.
In another saucepan combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugars dissolve and are a clear liquid. Brush down the sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent any crystallization. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the lemon peels to cook. Stir every so often, until the peels are translucent, about 30 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peels to a cooling rack placed over a parchment-lined baking sheet; let dry for 1 hour. (Transfer remaining syrup to a jar to store for another use.) After an hour, fill a medium bowl with sugar and toss the peels, a little at a time, in the sugar until coated. Place the coated peels on a clean parchment lined sheet pan; continue to dry for an additional hour. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Notes: Always clean your lemons thoroughly to prevent transferring any unusual flavors. So what are non-reactive pots, pans or cookware? First let me explain – it means the pan or cookware does not react to acids in the food being cooked or marinated. These types of cookware are stainless steel, glass or ceramic cast iron.
I did have fun making these candied lemon peels. I have since found a multitude of uses for them. It is fun to place a strip of these candied lemon peels to the side of a cordial/glass of Limoncello or as a topping on lemon sorbet. You can chop them up and use them in various recipes for cookies, shortbread or scones.
If you find yourself with a ton of lemons and feel up to something new, give these a try.
Time to eat…