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:
CANDIED LEMON PEELS
Adapted from MarthaStewart.com and AllRecipes.com
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 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.
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|
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!!!
BON APPETIT, Y'ALL!!!
(IF YOU LIKE THIS POST - YOU MIGHT ENJOY THE POST ON LEMON MERINGUE FLOWERS)
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!