I use lots of lemons. Lemon Bars. Lemon Ice Cream. Lemon cookies. Lemon water. Lemonade Ice Cream Pie with Gingerbread Crust. Lemon Cloud Tart with Salted Caramel Sauce. And, it occurs to me as I juice the lemons that something could be done with all those peels rather than just throwing them in the green waste.
Candied Lemon Peel and Roasted Lemon Peel Powder. I thought I would try these and see if it really is better to use all those peels.
Candied Lemon Peel
Candied Citrus Peel has been around for a long time. And, after making it I would say that it is the original gummy bear. It was fun to make something so old fashioned and homey. The process of making the candy was long and time consuming- not difficult, but it took two days to complete. The candy can be nibbled on its own, dipped in chocolate for a pretty presentation, or added to something else, like scones, cheesecake, ice cream, or gingerbread.
Here’s how I made the Candied Lemon Peel (there are other ways to make candied citrus peel, and some are easier, but I thought I would go with the trusted source of Irma Rombauer)…
Peel 6 lemons (don’t worry about taking the pith off, that will be done later) and place the peel in a saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, and cover with fresh water, and simmer again until tender. Drain. Refresh the peel under cold water. Scrape away any remaining pith using a spoon. Cut the peel into strips.
Combine 1 cup sugar and ¾ cup water in a large saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves, and add the peel and cook gently over low heat until most of the syrup is absorbed. Cover and let stand overnight.
Heat over low heat, and simmer again, then let cool slightly.
Spread several layers of paper towels on a counter and spread 1 cup sugar over the towels. Roll the peel in the sugar until well coated. Transfer the peel to a sheet of waxed paper and let air dry for at least 1 hour. Candied peel can be stored between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.
Roasted Lemon Peel Powder
And, for the Roasted Lemon Peel, I can just say that the fragrance is so wonderful and heady that it may just be something that I have to make on a regular basis. The flavor is a bit more mellow than fresh lemon peel, but the powder has a toasty quality that gives it depth. This idea came from the wonderful Zucchini and Chocolate Blog.
I used three lemons, and ended up with about a tablespoon of powder, so it doesn’t make a lot of powder. But, making it didn’t take much time or much work.
Peel the lemon with a vegetable peeler making ribbons with as little pith (the bitter white part of the peel) on them as possible. Leave the peel out to air dry on the counter for a day or two.
Then, roast the peel in a low oven for about 15 minutes, or until they start to turn golden. (I left mine in the oven while the oven cooled after I had baked something else.)
Allow the peel to cool, and grind the peel in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. Store the powder in an airtight container.
The Roasted Lemon Peel Powder can be added to almost anything that you would add lemon zest to: scones, gelato, granola, cookies, lemon syrup for beverages, my neighbor even thought it would taste lovely over roasted corn.