The first delicious piece to our Lemon Lavender Shortbreads is candying the lemon peels for the lemon sugar. Lemon sugar is just one hint of what you can do with candied peel besides just eating them straight. Candied peels can be added to baked goods or as edible garnishes to sweet and savory foods, alike.
Here's How To Make Candied Lemon Peel
4-5 large lemons
2 cups granulated sugar + 1 additional cup
Bring a quart or so of water to boil in a medium saucepan.
While the water comes to the boil, slice the peels from the lemons. This is called "supreme". (Diana Ross likely won't be there to help you, but you could play "I'm Coming Out" while the peels slice away from the fruit.)
How to Supréme a Lemon (or any citrus fruit)
1. Cut off the ends first and stand the lemon up vertically on a cut end.
2. Take your knife and slice downward and around the fruit, leaving the white pith on the peel, but trying to leave as much of the fruit behind as possible. (No worries if there's some residual fruit on the peel; it will boil out in the cooking process.)
3. You should end up with about 4-6 large strips
Our next steps for candying the peels:
Slice the peels into 1/4" or so strips, or however thick you want your candied peels to be in the end.
Drop the peels into the boiling water and par-boil for 15 minutes to remove much of the bitterness of the pith and peel. Strain and rinse the peels. Discard the bitter water.
Refill the pot with 1 cup fresh water and the 2 cups sugar. Bring to a simmer to allow the sugar to dissolve. Add the rinsed peels and simmer over low heat for 60 minutes, until the peels are somewhat translucent and the liquid is semi-syrupy.
Place the remaining 1 cup sugar on a plate or casserole dish. A big plastic baggie works well too. Lift several peels from the syrup with a slotted spoon and drain slightly before tossing them into the sugar.
Coat fully in the sugar, then set the peels on a cooling rack to dry in the open air for 48 hours. This allows the moisture to evaporate, making the peels chewy in texture.
Store your candied peels in a mason jar or pyrex dish with a sealable lid. They will keep for several weeks, and can be refrigerated or frozen for longer.
Don't throw away the syrup... It's delicious! You can use it for lemonade, drizzling on pancakes or toast, or for any recipe calling for simple syrup... if you want a lemony result.