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Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I saw a Martha Stewart show where she had a guest who made candied lemon peel.  I love lemons and I'd never really considered candied lemon peel.  My peels tend to freshen my disposal :-)  Martha couldn't stop nibbling on these so I decided I was going to take a stab at making them.  LOVE lemons.  Love these...OMG is an understatement!

The recipe Martha Stewart's guest had was for Meyer Lemons and they don't seem to be in season down here right now (they are known as Valley Lemons in the Rio Grande Valley).  So, I found another recipe - quite similar - to make. 

The recipe only requires 3 large lemons (which I happen to have on hand) and a sharp knife and some sugar and water.  I'm going to partially use the technique Martha's guest demonstrated and partially the recipe I found on the AllRecipes website.  I knew I could do this - I was just hoping it would be worth the effort! (By the way - this is a multiple day recipe...takes one to two days to dry) 
So, here's the recipe:

Adapted from and


3 large lemons
3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups water
3/4 tsp cream of tartar - helps prevent sugar crystalization

1 cup extra fine granulated sugar (can run regular granulated sugar through a few pulses of the food processor if unable to find extra fine sugar)


Thoroughly wash your lemons and dry.  Buy organic if you can.

Cut each lemon in half and juice it with a reamer.  Reserve juice for other use.

Cut juiced lemon halves into quarters.  Lay out on cutting board, skin side down.

Carefully work your very sharp paring knife under the lemon segments and work around and gently pull pulp portion away. 

Scrape some of the pith off using a spoon or butter knife if you end up with thick patches...but be careful around the edges - easy to tear.  Leave about 1/8" thickness including the peel.  Some pith will remain and that is okay.  Repeat for each piece of lemon.  (Martha's guest didn't take the pith at all - just pulled the sections off...but Meyer lemons are sweeter and have thinner pith and skin.  My lemons were quite pithy.)

Next, slice the "cleaned" peels into portions that would take about two to three tiny bites to eat.  I made mine triangles and strips...I wanted them to look "uneven".

Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce to simmer and add lemon peels to simmering water.  Allow to simmer for 45 minutes or when peel is tender to the tooth...offering no resistence when you bite into a sample piece. (yes that's a bit tart - not as bad as I had expected - but still...)

Drain off simmering water (discard water - do not re-use - filled with all the bitter stuff you won't want) and set aside lemon slices.

Add 3 cups of water to empty saucepan and add 3 cups sugar and cream of tartar.  Place over medium high heat and cook until sugar has dissolved.  Add lemon peels to water and reduce to simmer over medium heat and allow to cook, stirring occassionally, until temperature measured with a candy thermometer reaches 230 degrees Fahrenheit ....about 50-55 minutes.  They will look transluscent.  (Mine actually took 65 minutes to reach the stage that they looked transluscent - I reduced it too low because I was worried it would hit 230 quickly...but it didn't...and I had to turn it back up.  It actually never got above 220 degrees...but that's okay - they turned out great!)

Just started in the syrup

Drain lemon peel with a spider or other draining scooper...and place on wire rack placed in a parchment covered baking sheet - as usual I used a baking mat...and I put paper towels in the bottom of the baking sheet to absorb potential liquid.  Allow tray to air dry for ONE to TWO DAYS until lemon peel is less sticky.  (The north wind blew our humidity away and I was so fortunate that it only took about 18 hours for mine to get to the point that I was ready to toss in sugar.)

Beautifully tranluscent - had to individually separate pieces as they stuck together otherwise

Do not put in refrigerator!  Be sure to reserve the lemon flavored simple syrup you have created.  Store the syrup in the refrigerator and make lemonade with the reserved juice...or even better... a cocktail!  I tasted a spoonful.  It's like a mild liquid lemon drop with none of the tartness!!!  I also sampled 3 pieces of the lemon peel...heck they are good not dried and quite sticky...

Gently toss tacky-dried lemon peel in extra fine granulated sugar.  Store in an air tight container in a cool dry place - do not refrigerate.

I used a snack sized Ziploc bag to toss a few pieces at a time...
they probably didn't need that much "care" in retrospect!

Oh dear...another addiction...I can see these won't last long.  If I was a nice person, I'd share...hmmm, I'll think about it.  These things are crazy good!!!




I shared this post on another blog.  The Sweet as Sugar Cookies blog has a great Saturday "blog party" where you share a treat you made during the week.  The result is a big collection of fun recipes to try.  Here's the link to her blog and the Sweets for a Saturday compilation.  This post is in the #12 version!



  1. Ok, I am going to have to make these. You made it look and sound so easy. I had seen another recipe for candied lemon peel, but it took a long time (and, I can't quite remember where I saw it at.)

  2. So much easier to make than I thought it would be!! Probably could do the same with orange... oooh!! I'm excited! With a description of better than OMG these guys are a must try.

  3. Yummy! I love candied orange peels so this is a natural next step to try. Definitely going to buy some lemons

  4. Yummm! I love the step by step pictures! Thanks for sharing. Nothing like homemade lemon / orange peel candy for cookies. :)

  5. Awesome post and thanks for the step by step! I made Candied Lemon Rind years ago and YES it takes forever and DOUBLE YES is it delicious! Buzzing and saving! Happy Holidays!

  6. I've always wanted to try candied lemon peel. I love your step by step directions and pictures. I'd love to try these out for my Christmas goodie boxes. :)

  7. I so need to make this I love lemons. I've always wanted to try orange peel and I always say I'll do it this time but never get around to it. This looks so wonderful, it would a great topper on a cupcake too Thanks for sharing.

  8. hello, not sure if my previous comment was posed or not, sorry if there is a duplicate.
    I love lemons but I have never made lemon peel. I always wanted to try orange peel but never got around to it. You know I just might try this, I have lots of lemons sitting on the counter.
    Thanks for sharing step by step photos, it is very helpful


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