In my world of forever looking for things to do with our garden's bounty of lemons and citrus, making candied rinds is an easy and always delicious treat. That is, if I can remember to peel them before I use them for something else. It is not worth trying to skin a lemon after it has been squeezed of it's juice, but a skinned fruit can certainly be put in the refrigerator for later use.
I made these the other day to garnish a Lemon Tart. I offered a taste of them to my kids with some fresh berries as I was curious if the slightly bitter sweet taste would appeal to their palettes. I had them in a container on the counter, and every time I turned around, my 5 year old daughter was into the box. I told her she had to stop or there would not be any left for my dessert. She responded by saying, "but they are so good, I just can't help myself!"
If you are going to candy any citrus, use organically grown or pesticide free fruits.
|Candied Lemon Rind
|Use a peeler to peel the lemons into thin strips along the length of the fruit so they are as long as possible. Try to peel as little of the pith as you are able.
|Thinly slice or julienne the strips of rind. Or feel free to leave them wide. I like the ribbon like or confetti effect they get when sliced thin, but the taste will be good either way.
|Put the prepared rinds in a stainless steel saucepan. Add enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil over high heat.
|Drain the water from the pan, and repeat with fresh water two additional times for a total of three boilings. This process of blanching and straining the water helps to release any unpleasant bitterness from the rinds.
|After the skins have been drained for the third time, put them back into the pan with equal parts of water and sugar. About 1 cup of each for about 6 lemons. If you are using a large quantity of lemon rinds, increase the amounts accordingly.
|Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over high heat until the mixture becomes syrupy and the skins look translucent (see top photo). This will take about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it as you do not want the sugar to caramelize.
|Strain the syrup from the rinds into a bowl. It’s delicious for drizzling on toast, pancakes, ice cream, or to use in place of simple syrup for cocktails. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
|When the rinds are no longer dripping syrup from the strainer, put them onto a piece of non stick aluminum foil or a silicone mat and separate with the tines of a fork. Allow to cool completely and dry for at least an hour.
|When they are no longer wet and exceedingly sticky, store in an airtight container. They can also be frosted by tossing in superfine sugar. Do not refrigerate the rinds. They will keep for at least a week if they make it that long.