Candied lemon peels make not just an excellent snack, they are perfect for cake decorating too.
These are very easy to make, last long, and make excellent snacks any time of the day.
While the lemon peel is hardly ever eaten plain because of its bitter taste, when candied, they go to a whole new level altogether.
Making this candied lemon peel is easy. With only 3 simple ingredients i.e. the lemon skin, sugar, and water, you can make these yummy treats in no time at all.
My candied lemon peel recipe on this page is very much similar to my orange peel candy recipe. In fact, the only difference is that in that recipe, I use orange peel and in this one, I use lemon peel.
I also have another similar candied lemon recipe, and that one is candied lemon slices. Instead of using just the peel, I slice the lemons into thin round slices and candy them that way. And I must say, they make really gorgeous decorations for cakes and other treats.
Lemon Peel vs Lemon Rind
What is lemon peel and how does it differ from lemon rind?
Well, lemon peel is literally the skin of the lemon. If you cut a lemon, you will see that there are 2 obvious layers of skin on a lemon, an outer yellow layer, and a white inner layer.
Lemon rind, on the other hand, is just the yellow layer of the skin. It is also sometimes known as lemon zest. The white part is often known as the pith.
Lemon rind is widely used in cooking and baking. It is rich in lemon oil that gives any baked goods or other food it is added to a lovely citrus aroma. It still tastes bitter, which is why is it normally used in small quantities and often finely grated before being added into any food or drinks.
Other than the rind that is mostly used in cooking and baking, the skin of the lemon is often discarded. These candied lemon peels are a great way of using up the lemon skin. The peels are cut into thin strips, cooked in sugar syrup until they turn translucent, and then given a coating of granulated sugar to turn them into a yummy snack.
How to Make Candied Lemon Peel
- Lemon Peel
Cutting and blanching the peel
Wash the lemons and dab them dry with a kitchen towel.
- Next, peel the lemons. Use a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to do it. Either way, slice the skin off the lemons along with some of the white pith underneath. There is no need to focus only on the rind as these candied peels are best made with some of the pith intact. And don’t worry if you cut too much of the pith too. You can always remove it later.
- Once you have the lemon skin all peeled, the next step is to slice the peels. Before you do that, if there is too much pith included in any of the cut strips, remove them at this stage. Use a small sharp knife to carefully slice off the white pith. Again, the intention is not to totally remove the white pith, but to leave some on. If all the white pith is removed, there won’t be much to munch on these candied lemon peels.
- And then proceed with slicing the peels. There is no hard and fast rule on how to slice these peels. I chose to cut mine into about 1mm to 2mm thickness and about 1 inch long. You can make them bigger or smaller as you wish. The thicker you cut them, the longer it would take to cook them to a translucent stage.
- Add some water into a small pot.
- Add the sliced lemon peel and boil for them for about 10 minutes over low heat.
- Drain and discard the water. Set the peels aside.
Making the sugar syrup and cooking the peels in syrup
- The next step is making the syrup. To do this, measure the sugar and water into a medium-sized pot. Turn on the heat to medium and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the drained lemon peels into the syrup.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook the peels in the syrup for about 10 minutes, until they turn translucent. Continue cooking if they are not. And remember to keep the heat low to avoid the syrup from thickening too much. Too thick a syrup will make it harder to strain in off later.
- Once the peels are cooked, pour the peels along with the syrup into a strainer. Leave the candied peels in the strainer for 5 to 10 minutes to allow all excess syrup to drain off. Also take note to not leave the peels too long in the strainer to avoid the syrup coating on them from drying out.
- The final step is to coat the lemon peels in sugar. Fill a small bowl with sugar. Drop a few slices of the syrup-coated lemon peels into the bowl. Use a fork to toss the peels in the sugar until they are well coated. You can do this in small batches.
- Place the sugar-coated candied lemon peels in a parchment-lined tray and let them dry in a cool dry place for about 30 minutes. And they are ready to be enjoyed!
Storing the candied lemon peels
The candied peels can be stored at room temperature for a good 2 to 3 weeks. Keep them in an airtight container. They can last for at least 6 months if kept refrigerated.
- These candied peels are best made with fresh lemons. Choose the ones that look fresh and plump rather that those that look dry. The candied peels will be a lot softer and chewy when made with fresh peel.
- Once the lemon peel is all prepared and cut, it is best to cook and candy them on the same day or within the next day. They tend to become dry if you keep them for a few days. When candied, these peels will be hard and dry compared to the ones made immediately after the peel is cut and sliced.
- It is always easier to peel the lemon skin when it is still not juiced. Hence, if you intend to both cut the skin for making candied lemon peels and juice the lemon for something else, remember to cut the skin first before you juice the fruits.
- The sugar for this recipe is made of water and sugar and the ratio is 1 to 1. This amount is just nice for the peel of about 2 lemons. Increase the water and sugar proportionately if you wish to make a larger batch of candied lemon peels.
- Also, when cooking the lemon peels in the syrup, make sure the heat is the lowest possible. This will allow the peels sufficient time to cook to a translucent stage and at the same time, avoid the sugar syrup from thickening too much. If it does, you will have a problem straining it out once the lemons peels are cooked.
- Once you have drained the syrup from the peels, you literally have a lovely batch of lemon-infused sugar syrup that can be used to make any citrus-flavored drink. Keep the syrup refrigerated.
Sugar-coating the candied peels
- When straining the sugar syrup of the lemon peels, it is best to do it in a strainer. Leave the peels in the strainer for a few minutes (about 5 to 10 minutes) to allow all the excess syrup to drain out. The syrup will be quite thick, hence the need to give it time to properly drain out.
- Also, take note to not leave the peels in the strainer too long. I did that once and realized the syrup coating on the peels has dried up. And when I tried to coat the peels with granulated sugar, the sugar would not stick to the peels.
- These candied lemon peels are best coated in granulated sugar. Firstly, it sticks to the peels better. Secondly, the regular sugar granules are large and can make your peels a little too sweet. You can also use fine brown sugar in place of the granulated sugar.
Candied Lemon Peel Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my candied lemon peels recipe.
Candied Lemon Peel
- 1 lemon cut the skin
- 500 ml water
- 100 ml water
- 100 g sugar
- 50 g granulated sugar
- Slice off the skin of the lemon.
- Using a sharp knife, slice off as much of the white pith that is attached to the lemon peel slices as possible.
- Cut the peels into about 1mm to 2mm wide and about 2cm to 3cm long.
- Fill a medium-sized saucepan with 500ml water.
- Turn on the heat and let the water boil. Add the cut lemon peels and cook them in medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the peels and discard the water.
- Return the saucepan to the stove to make the simple syrup.
- Add water and sugar and turn on the heat to a medium flame.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, reduce the flame to low heat. Add the strained peels and cook for about 10 minutes, until they turn translucent.
- Strain the syrup.
- Let the candied peels dry slightly in the strainer for about 10 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl of granulated sugar. Use a fork to stir the peels in the sugar until they are well coated.
- Place the sugar-coated candied lemon peel on a parchment-lined tray and let them dry for about 30 minutes.
- Store the candied lemon peel in an airtight container.
And that's pretty much it. My easy candied lemon peel recipe.
Here are my other posts you might want to check out:
- Orange Candy Peel - How to Make Candied Peels
- Coconut Candy Recipe - A Quick and Easy Treat
- Coconut candy - A Homemade Treat
- Cream Cheese Candy - Easy Homemade Mints
- Candied Lemon Slices