Week 4: Candied Lemon Peels
There’s nothing like a little inspiration. The past few weeks have been filled with it. On Sunday, I was gifted with four lemons so that I could “do something” with them. What that “something” was, was entirely up to me, so long as I gave at least some of that “something” to the one who shared their lemon crop with me.
I racked my brain. I Googled. I Tastespotted. I Martha Stewart-ed. The last time I made something from gifted lemons was when I baked (and whisked my heart out) a lemon sabayon with a pine nut crust for my next door neighbors. I didn’t want to bake another tart. I didn’t want to make cupcakes. For a few days, I seriously considered making vanilla bean-infused lemon marmalade, but canning is a process, and I’d rather take the time to make marmalade with fourteen lemons than four. And then I saw it. Of course. Candied lemon peels.
The gifter was going on a trip and they’d make a great on the road snack. Plus, creating them would give me the opportunity to try a new technique. I love candied ginger and such things, but I’d never made my own before. And, this would only use the lemon peels…allowing me to make sorbet or something else soft and creamy with the flesh of the lemons.
I followed the recipe from The Luna Café. It’s just one of their many mouth-watering recipes….
The four lemons
The first step: Separating the flesh from the skin. A very sharp, small knife is recommended. My knives need sharpening, but they did the job.
Next, remove as much pith as possible. Then, to reduce the bitterness, blanch the peels three times in simmering water.
And, finally, submerge them in sugar syrup.
After about an hour or so of boiling, they’re semi-translucent and ready to be removed from the sugar syrup and dried so they can be coated with sugar.
The result was the peels are still a little bitter (they are lemon peels after all), but the combination of sweet and bitter is such that it coaxes you to keep eating them. Mmm.