Years ago, my husband and I lived in a home that had these amazing mature orange and grapefruit trees. It was like a citrus goldmine! I would make tons of fresh orange juice for the kids and plenty of fresh grapefruit juice for my vodka. ;)
Even after juicing and juicing and juicing, we would always have some fruit leftover. We harvested way more oranges and grapefruit than one family could possibly need so, naturally, we shared with our family.
That's how I first learned about candied citrus peel. My husband's godparents were in town during one of our harvesting times and we sent them back to Virginia with a trunk full of oranges.
A little while later I got a card in the mail from them with a picture of a bowl a candied orange peel. They included a little note that said that they loved the oranges and, because they don't like to waste anything, they made candy out of the peels.
I was like, whaaaat?
Up until that moment, I had honestly never heard of candied orange peel. I had to know more. After all, I am a waste not, want not type of gal.
I did a little bit of googling and learned that you can make fabulous candy out of not only orange peel, but citrus peel in general. Who knew?
The process is simple. Cut up the peel, boil it several times to remove the bitterness, then simmer it in a sugar and water mixture until it is soft and sweet. The icing on the cake, so to speak, is a crunchy sugar coating.
After a few hours of drying on a rack, the candied peel is ready to eat. And eat and eat and eat! Even my 8 year old loved it! Her exact quote was, "Why can't lemon always taste like this?"
I also learned during my googling that you can make a killer household cleaner with citrus peel, so if you find yourself with citrus coming out your ears, definitely look that up.
I'll be over here candying all the peels though. Unless I've got way too much candied peel on hand already. Foodie to the core, yo.
This surprisingly simple Candied Lemon Peel recipe is inspired by this month's Feast & Devour Cooking Club ingredient selection. Viva la LEMON!
Here are more luscious lemon recipes from my foodie friends: