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!