Candied lemon zest is so pretty! It is so easy to make and keeps indefinitely, so I think everyone should have a jar hiding in the fridge. Any lemony treat you make will instantly look a lot fancier once you put a bit of this candied zest on top! It’s also yum straight from the jar!
I topped my Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes with candied zest.
Candied Lemon Zest
makes about 1 cup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Wash the lemons well and pat dry with a tea towel. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons in long wide strips, trying to leave as much of the white pith on the lemon as you can. If there is a bit of pith left on the back of the strips, scrape it off with a knife. Cut the lemon zest into fine strips (julienne).
Put the strips into a small saucepan and cover in cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and repeat with fresh cold water. This removes any bitterness from the zest.
Strain and add the zest back to the empty saucepan. Add the 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil, simmer until translucent, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
Store zest and syrup in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last almost indefinitely. The zest can be used as is, or coated in caster sugar (fine sanding sugar) to crystallise.
To crystallise, strain some zest, shaking it gently to remove any excess syrup. Place some caster sugar in a bowl and separate the zest pieces and drop them into the sugar. Toss zest to coat evenly in sugar. Carefully remove the zest from the sugar and place on a baking rack to dry out for about 30 minutes.