I really love lemon and I use a LOT of them.  However I hate to waste anything, so before I juice a lemon, I zest it first and save the peel.  I dry finely shredded peel for dried peel, but I also like to save larger pieces of peel to make into candied peel.  Candied lemon peel makes a wonderful decoration on cakes, is delicious chopped and added to cookies and biscotti, and makes a wonderful candy on its own.  A side benefit of making candied lemon peel is that there is always lemon syrup left over which I also save.  I like to use the lemon syrup to make lemon aide, sweeten tea or as the sweetener in berry-based sorbet.

Boiling the peels, then draining the water may seem like a step you might want to skip, but don’t.  Pre-boiling the peels eliminates any bitterness in the peels.  Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of lemon flavor in your candied lemon.  🙂

Edit  3-27-12:  In the above pic I have candied lemon peel and whipped coconut topping dressing up lemon poppy seed waffles.  Yum!

Easy Candied Lemon Peel and Lemon Syrup


2 cups water

Zest from 4 lemons, larger pieces with no white pith

2 cups sugar plus more for rolling finished peels


Put water into a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add lemon peels and boil for 5 minutes.  Drain the water.  Set lemon peels aside.  Add 2 more cups of water to the pan, bring to a boil, add lemon peels and boil for 5 minutes.  Drain water.  Add 2 cups of water to the pan, add lemon peels and sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and cook peels until sugar is dissolved and peels are translucent.

Put lemon peel on a cooling rack, spreading out so they don’t stick.  Allow peels to dry for 2 hours, then roll in sugar so peels don’t stick together.  Put peels back on cooling rack and allow to dry overnight.  Store in an air tight container.

Strain lemon syrup through a fine messed sieve, allow to cool.  Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.