I know I’m taking a chance with an organic bag of lemons on sale for $2.99 — at anytime of year. It would be different if I lived further south, amongst citrus trees of plenty, but I don’t. I live on a 13 sq. mile island floating in the northern Pacific.
That’s a bit dramatic. Actually, Pender is located in the Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and Vancouver, on the mainland. So we’ve got a little more shelter than, say, Samoa. Some even boast of our Mediterranean climate — a claim put to the test in the last couple of years — but I’m unaware of any local lemon trees, unless someone has one hidden in a warm and glowing greenhouse. (Although I was impressed to hear that a friend and her family successfully grew and harvested a Calamondin Orange tree here on Pender). Shelley, do you still have any of that chutney left?
My sketchy bag of lemons came from a grocery store in Victoria, and, like I said, I knew the odds of getting juicy fruit were against me. But I had just seen a new recipe for Glazed Citron from David Lebowitz, and I was actually on the lookout for some gnarly looking specimens.
The process takes a week – but there is only about 30 minutes of cooking time/day — the rest of the time, the peels simply sit in the sugar syrup at room temperature, candying themselves and transforming from juice-less, useless-waste fruit to sweet, homemade treats that could inspire a renaissance in your holiday baking this year.
I’ve also used my stash of candied peel in “savoury” dishes — Lemon Chicken, anyone? Recipe coming soon…it uses a good sized strip of peel from the Preserved Lemons in my fridge too — a sweet and salty EXTRAVAGANZA.
You’ll notice that my lemon peels, although thicker than ideal, are nowhere near those of the Etrog Citron Mr. Lebowitz used. With that in mind, I made a couple of adjustments to his recipe. I used the peels from about 2 pounds of fruit (twice as much as the recipe), to make up for the thinner peel. I kept the rest of the amounts in the recipe the same.
In the first step, I watched my peels closely as they simmered in salted water. I pulled them out as soon as they were translucent — in about 20 minutes — much less than the hour in the original recipe.
Other than that, I followed the instructions to the letter and look! Jewel-like edibles that I know you’ll love too.
gives sells you juice-less lemons, candy the peel instead.