This spring my cousin’s lovely fiance asked me if I would do the baking for their wedding. I had to think about it for a couple of days to figure out if I could pull off the logistics of living halfway across the country from where I’d need to serve cake and cupcakes, but of course I was incredibly excited about the opportunity to bake for their wedding.
The wedding is coming up in a few weeks, so last weekend I spent several days in the kitchen practicing the recipes I plan to use and making sure the garnishes I’d pictured in my head would work as well as I’d hoped. One of the cupcake recipes that I’ll be using is for lemon-blueberry cupcakes. I love candied lemon peel and thought it would be a simple and elegant garnish for some of the cupcakes.
Prior to this weekend I had never tried making candied lemon peel before, but these turned out really well. The process is time-consuming, but not particularly difficult. You can definitely multi-task while they’re cooking, so it’s perfect to make the candied lemon peel when you’re already planning to be in the kitchen working on other things. The lemon peels came out with a chewy texture and a light lemon flavor, they would be a beautiful garnish on cupcakes, cake or frosted cookies.
- 4 lemons, washed
- 4 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
- 4 cups water
- Quarter the lemons and remove the pulp. Slice each of the quartered piece of lemon into an additional 4 slices, so you'll have 16 slices of peel per lemon. Use a sharp knife to scrape out the excess pith (the white part) and discard.
- Place the strips in a medium sized saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and drain them. Repeat the process a second and third time by covering the peels with cold water, boiling, and draining. Set the peels aside.
- Pour 4 cups of water into the saucepan and combine with 4 cups of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Use a wet pastry brush to wash the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Add the peels to the boiling syrup and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer gently for about 1 hour until the peels are translucent. Turn off the heat and allow the peels to cool in the syrup.
- Once cooled, use a slotted spoon to transfer the peels to a paper towel lined tray. Wipe off the excess liquid, then pour about a cup of sugar in a large rimmed plate and toss the peels in the sugar to coat. Place the sugar coated peels on a drying rack and allow to dry for several hours. Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Martha Stewart