Candied lemon peel isn't just easy to make – it's delicious, keeps well, and makes a beautiful gift. Feel free to double or triple this recipe if you have the drying space to manage it!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Drying Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 1 Pint Candied Lemon Peel
- 4 lemons
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- Use a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the yellow zest (with as little white pith as possible) from the lemons. Now is a time to be a bit exact: the less white pith still attached to the peel, the less bitter the final candied peel will be!
- Put strips of lemon zest, 1 cup of the sugar, and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until peels are translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Drain peels. I do this by setting a colander over a large bowl to catch the delicious lemon syrup (perfect for cocktails and desserts!). Let sit in the colander for an hour or so, shaking every few minutes to work as much of the syrup off the peels as possible.
- Lay the peels in a single layer on cooling racks to dry a bit, at least an hour and up to overnight. They will still be wet and sticky, but you want any syrup that's going to drip off to do so.
- Put remaining cup of sugar in a wide bowl or rimmed plate. Work with handfuls of the peel, tossing it in the sugar to coat each strip of peel thoroughly. Lay sugared strips back on the cooling racks. Repeat with remaining strips of peel.
- Peels can be eaten or stored for a day or two. For longer storage, set racks in a 180° - 200°F oven for an hour or so to dry them more thoroughly. When dried this way, the candied peel can be kept in an airtight container for up to a month.