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Glazed (Candied) Lemon Peel

Glazed (Candied) Lemon Peel

Lessons From Cooking School

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.

When life gives sells you juice-less lemons, candy the peel instead.



  1. Katherine Martinelli
    November 23, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I love candied lemon peels and have never made them myself! Must try.

  2. Nish
    November 23, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I have been on the look out for a candied peel recipe and am so glad I’ve come across this! Will definitely give this ago over the weekend :) x

  3. Boulder Locavore
    November 24, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Love this Theresa! I made something similar with orange slices for the top of a cake earlier this year. So simple and great taste. I’m sure this can be parlayed into some holiday concoction; well timed, thank you! Toni

  4. Andrea Spalding
    November 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Hi Theresa,
    Have been making candied lemon and orange peel for Xmas treats for years. I didn’t know there was a recipe for it! LOL.
    I just simmer the strips of peel in a high ratio sugar syrup, then let them dry on a cake rack. Sometimes I dip the dried candied peels in chocolate – lovely christmas candy.
    This would certainly take the guess work out of it, and I suspect the pre boiling in water will make the peel more tender. Mine is always slightly chewy. Thanks for posting. WIll try it this year.

    • Theresa
      November 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

      I love the chocolate idea, Andrea!

  5. Carolyn
    November 25, 2011 at 7:24 am

    A most excellent use of less-than-juicy organic lemons!

  6. claudia
    November 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I love candying citrus peels. Ostensibly I do this for baking – but in reality – we all go searching in the month of December for something to chew on and open the citrus peel tins. Clearly there are days when chocolate is not enough.

  7. Camila
    November 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    You know, you can actually use the candied peels to make ANOTHER treat: “stuffed lemons”
    Here´s a picture:
    You form a “ball” of “dulce de leche” (which is similar to caramel, just a lot thicker) and wrap it with the candied peels. It’s very simple and AMAZING, i really recommend it!

  8. Eliot
    November 27, 2011 at 4:06 am

    I love David L.! Although we don’t live in a tropical climate either, we do have a Meyer lemon tree in the green house. I am not going to wait and will try this today. I agree this will make holiday baking over the top!

    • Theresa
      November 27, 2011 at 9:34 am

      Nice, Eliot — and so lucky! Post some pics when your peel is done…Theresa

  9. Chef and Steward
    November 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    A great way of making those lemons work for you! The photos are also amazing. It’s beena while so I decided to come over and see what lovely things you have been up to. As always, I am glad I did!

  10. Steve @ the black peppercorn
    November 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    There have been times here in Toronto that I have bought a bag of lemons and they turn out terrible. I have found that bags of avocados to be awful sometimes as well. Usually I purchase them individually so as I can pick the good ones. These glazed lemons look great and are an awesome way to use juiceless lemons!

  11. Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie
    December 4, 2011 at 6:04 am

    I swear, every time I come to your site you tempt me into making something totally new and exciting. I’ve never made candied lemon peel — partly because I never think to and if I do I automatically guess that it’s too much work. Not so! I’ve been especially fond of lemon pepper chicken lately so these little candied gems might be the perfect thing to give it a little more “oomph.” Definitely adding this to my to-do list!

    • Theresa
      December 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      You’re right Steph — these candied peels are really great minced into Lemon Chicken dishes. They give an extra burst of lemony-sweetness!

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