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How to make candied lemon slices

Did you know that lemons in their entirety, peels and all, are edible? With a little bit of cooking magic, lemons (or any citrus fruit) turn into candy. And beautiful decorations for baked goods!

Start out with 3 large lemons because, unless you are very adept at using a mandoline or unless you are an expert at cutting consistently uniform slices with a knife, you will want to leave room for error. I used my mandoline to cut my lemon slices and I still had a culling rate of about 30-35%.

When you have a dozen or so lovely, deseeded lemon slices (again, this same process can apply to any type of citrus fruit), bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. While you are waiting for your water to boil, prepare a bath of ice water in a large baking dish.

Blanch the lemon slices in the boiling water for about 1 minute. Handle the slices gently.

Carefully drain the lemon slices and plunge them into your prepared ice bath. Let them sit for a minute or so in the ice water. Carefully remove them.

Combine the following ingredients in a large saucepan:

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and add the lemon slices in a single layer.

Let the lemon slices simmer (no boiling) for 1 hour.

Remove the slices from the syrup and set them on a cooling rack over a stack of paper towels. It will take a good chunk of time for them to dry completely (sometimes as long as 12-24 hours), so plan ahead if you intend to use them for decorating baked goods.

Or, just dip them into chocolate and eat them like candy!



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Reader Comments (20)

Do these harden as they cool?

02.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Yes! They do harden as they cool. I make sure to turn them several times throughout the cooling process so they don't stick to the cooling rack too badly.

02.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPip

Wow, these are lovely! Is the left over syrup tasty as well? Can it be used as a simple syrup in other recipes?

02.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAludarie

Ooh, now I'll have to make these! I'm also curious if you did anything with the leftover syrup. Got a vision of glazing a creme caramel dish with it... Or perhaps in a nut brittle?

02.17.2011 | Unregistered Commenternekkutyttoe

What a great idea! I hate wasting "leftovers," so next time I will have to experiment!

02.17.2011 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

Do you think instead of sugar could you use honey or agave and get similar results?

03.7.2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I bet either of those would work great! Let me know if you try it.

03.7.2011 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

I blogged about these not too long ago - I love they way they turned out. Btw, your first photo is amazing!!!


04.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterButterYum

So pretty! I love how translucent the slices get, like stained glass.

04.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAubrey

How long can these be stored? I am thinking of making them as Christmas gifts

07.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

I make this same recipe in the dehydrator, instead of the drip-dry method. I also give the individual slices a quick flip in sugar just before putting them in the dehydrator. They come out BEAUTIFUL and EVERYONE (even non-citrus fans) LOVE them!! I think the reason for the long simmer time (1 hour) is to remove most of the bitterness from the rind.

12.23.2011 | Unregistered CommenterOuttaMyAttic

I've GOT to try this... Thank you!! Lemons are one of my favoritest things. :)

09.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterApril

I picked 12 lemons from my tree, had a 99% rate of slicing, so I doubled the syrup recipe. After they simmered for a hour I realized I forgot the ice bath. Oh well, I put them in the food dehydrator for about 12 hours. They turned out perfect, and there was no mess in the food dehydrator. I have about a half quart of lemon syrup left over that I can't wait to use on something... I'm thinking a lemon cake is in my near future.

09.29.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I just used the leftover syrup to make boiled frosting for a lemon cake. Delicious.

10.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCheyenne

Googling how to candy lemons led me to your blog. I had a quick look through your recipes and looked up to find it's been half an hour and I still haven't started... You have such beautiful photos!

02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

I'm using your blog post right now to candy some lime slices, in prep for a baking project I'm working on. I'm so excited to see how these turn out, since my two previous attempts (with other recipes) were big ol' busts. The pictures are AMAZING! And just what I'm looking for. I'll let you know how they turn out!
Also, of they work out as well as I think they will, do you mind if I link from my blog to yours?

06.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSari

Hey, nice recipe! I did a blog post on my experience and some tips (:

11.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterL k

I made these. Yes, the syrup is amazing. I added a couple tablespoons of butter, stirred like crazy until it was smooth, then poured into a glass Pyrex with a lid. Dip some apple slices in there and say Thank You. Delicious!

12.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicky I.

I'm also wondering about storing these. I'd like to make them as bridal shower favors, but I want to make them a bit in advance!

06.18.2014 | Unregistered CommenterTrena

Will this last for three months? I'd like to prepare them as gifts for an event - and I'd like to make them in advance...

12.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

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