NOTICE: I wrote a lovely, well thought out post, regaling all the wonders of the Meyer Lemon, only to have myself LOGGED OUT and despite actively saving my file, I came to find NOTHING there. GRUMBLE!
So now that I got my rant out of the way [that felt good], here’s the quick [well, as quick as I can be] and dirty version. No, it may not be quite as eloquent, so apologies! Now, I’ll just refer to this useful NPR article discussing the background and uses of Meyer lemons.
To make short of it, I came across two dozen Meyer Lemons, free of charge, since they were part of our display at the Atlanta Gift Show. I knew I needed to use these sooner rather than later, since they had been in our display for nearly a week.
I could have easily just juiced everything and had a bounty of fresh Meyer lemon juice to use in countless ways, but I thought I’d get more creative this time.
I absolutely love candied citrus peel; it makes a beautiful garnish on any dessert, particularly on truffles, cupcakes, and panna cotta. It’s delicious on its own, and particularly decadent when dipped in dark chocolate, YUM. I also love using it in cocktails [stay tuned for my post on my yummy Meyer lemon cocktails!]
Candied Meyer Lemon peel makes a perfect hostess gift or wedding favor when packed in a petite jar. I always appreciate receiving gifts that are handmade with love. [and Trust me, these babies are time consuming, so if you do receive it from me, just remember it took me HOURS to create!]
This time, I cut my peel into thin strips, hand knotted twists, and tiny bits. [see first photo]
Read on for my recipe, some beautiful Meyer lemon photography and check out the other ways I made use of one dozen Meyer Lemons!
CANDIED MEYER LEMON PEEL
[I used a dozen lemons in my photographed recipe, but that's A LOT, so I'd recommend using just six]
- Six Meyer Lemons
- Water [this amount will vary]
- 2.5 Cups Sugar
- 2.5 Cups Water
- Wire Rack
- Baking Sheet
- Mason Jar
1. Quarter all lemons lengthwise and juice, reserving for other recipes.
2. Remove the pulp from the peel using a pairing knife. [don't worry about getting the white pith off; Meyer Lemons have notoriously thin skin, so it would be a painful, nearly impossible experience to remove the pith!]
3. Slice peel into strips [or other shapes- get creative!] If you'd like to slice these in super thin strips, which make for lovely candied curls, allow the peel to dry for an hour or so, otherwise they can be difficult to slice.
4. Add peel to a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Strain peel and repeat this step 2-3 times, until the peel is chewy + not terribly bitter. Because it's hard to remove the white pith, this step takes longer with Meyer lemons than it does with oranges and other citrus. But trust me, it's well worth it!
5. While boiling the peel the last time, combine the 2.5 cups water and sugar together in a separate pot and dissolve sugar on medium to medium high heat [you DON'T want this to boil, or you'll end up with caramel, or badly burnt sugar!]
6. Add the strained peel to the sugar syrup, and cook for 45 minutes on medium heat. Again, keep an eye on this so that nothing boils or gets too unruly.
7. Strain peel [reserve the liquid as it makes a fantastic Meyer lemon simple syrup- perfect for cocktails, hot tea, iced tea and more!] and drain on wire rack, set over a baking sheet lined with parchment.
8. Allow peel to dry for at least 4-6 hours- the longer the better!
9. Add a few tablespoons of sugar to a mason jar, and fill with dried peel and shake to combine. Place sugared peel back on parchment and allow to dry for TWO days [patience really is a virtue]
10. Store in an airtight container- DO NOT refrigerate! These can last for months, as long as they're stored properly.
Makes 2+ cups [see below for additional uses of the Meyer Lemons you used in this recipe!]
With my 12 Meyer Lemons I made:
- 4 cups of candied citrus peel [this will last me FOREVER!]
- 5 cups of Meyer Lemon infused simple syrup [some friends will be receiving yummy gifts for their bars!]
- 2 cups Meyer Lemon Juice
- Sour Cranberry Meyer Lemon sorbet [I'll post the recipe next week!]
- Meyer Lemon Infused Iced Green Tea]
And to think, I only used HALF the lemons I've got. I still have a dozen more to play with! Stay tuned...