Candied Lemon Peel

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When I was young, my mother often made candied citrus fruit – usually grapefruit and orange. I didn’t quite have the palate for these at first, and couldn’t grasp the concept that is was okay to eat the peels! But as I got older I became more fond of them.

Recently I realized that I’ve never made any kind of candied citrus, so I thought I’d make a small batch. I typically see these during the holidays; they make such pretty gifts, especially partially dipped in dark chocolate.

But instead I thought I’d make candied lemon peel for a fun summer treat, perhaps chopping them up to add to home-made granola. And just to say I’ve made them!

Here’s what I did, based on this recipe from Epicurious.

Candied Lemon Peel
Printable recipe below

3 large lemons
4 cups white sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Place rack on rimmed baking sheet.

Cut ends of each lemon. Score each one lengthwise in quarters, butting just through peel, and not the flesh. Carefully pull off each peel quarter in 1 piece.


Cut each quarter lengthwise into 1/4” wide strips. Cook peel in saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour peel into a colander. Rinse.

Bring 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Add drained lemon peel to saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lemon peel is very soft and looks translucent, about 40 minutes.

Using fork, transfer lemon peel, 2 or 3 strips at a time, to prepared rack. Separate strips and arrange on rack. Let peel drain 15 minutes.

Sprinkle peel generously with sugar.

Turn strips over and sprinkle second side generously with sugar. I used white sugar, above left, and raw sugar, above right. Let dry uncovered overnight.

Candied lemon peel can be made up to 1 week ahead.

Keep refrigerated.


Attention! Do not throw away that wonderful lemon-infused simple syrup! Store it to use in cocktails! No filter, it’s really that pretty!

And, use the peeled lemons in a lemon dressing. I added olive oil, parsley, garlic, and salt to the blended lemons based on my whole lemon dressing recipe.

Turns out there was little difference between the white granulated sugar and the raw sugar. I’d personally just stick with white.
 

 

Whole Lemon Dressing

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Typically, I don’t have the television on while I’m cooking. In fact, I typically listen to my favorite music playlists. That is, unless my husband is in the kitchen first. He will invariably, mindlessly, turn on the tv. Which is what happened one morning a few years ago.

The Rachael Ray show was on, and I’m not a fan, but I was too busy to change channels. She had Carla Hall on for a cooking segment, which only caught my attention because I’d seen her compete in Top Chef.

So I was only watching with one eye, so to speak, but I saw Carla do something interesting.

We’ve all combined citrus juices with olive oil and made dressings. But here is the thing. Carla put the WHOLE lemon into a blender for her dressing.

Here’s what I did to replicate her recipe, which I just knew I’d love!

Lemon Dressing

1 clean, organic lemon
Olive oil
Salt, to taste
Salad of your choice

To make the dressing, trim the lemon ends and quarter it.

lemm1

Place the pieces in a blender or food processor. Blend away until you can’t.

lemm2

Add about 1/2 cup of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt, and re-blend the mixture.

lemm3

Strain the dressing through a fine strainer into a medium bowl. What you’re left with is a thickened emulsified lemon dressing.

I chose a salad of greens with avocado and raspberries so the dressing could really shine. Plus a little chunk of Parmesan.

I’m not even that much of a lemon freak, but this dressing is superb. It’s powerfully lemon, but not tart or bitter like you’d think.

I’m definitely making this dressing again. Next time I’ll add some toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese to the salad!

I also really love lemon dressing on salads that are grain-based, so that might be my next move!