Friday, July 6, 2012

173/656 - Candied peel

I have a love/hate relationship with lemons. 

I love everything about the way lemons taste. I love their versatility and of course I love the ridiculous amount of ways in which lemons can enhance a dish. What I don't like about lemons is that I often have them given to me in large quantities and, whilst I do use a good number of them, the last handful always seem to go off and I am left pulling dusty green balls from the bottom of my crisper. Never a pleasant experience. 

My gorgeous friend Emily, who has an enormous lemon tree of which I am extremely envious, bestowed upon me a bulging bag of fruit and I made a vow to put every last lemon to good use. So last weekend I propped myself at the bench and juiced, zested and candied until I was spent. I now have a freezer stuffed with frozen blocks of juice and pre-grated zest and am feeling mighty organised and ever so pleased that no lemon was wasted in the process. 

The candied lemons were on the stove at the same time as my lovely gumbo, and so being slightly distracted and a bit dizzy due to hunger (see previous post) I think I took them off the heat a bit too soon.  After a day or two on the rack they had dried nicely but were nowhere near as sweet as I had hoped. Luckily I had kept the lemony sugar syrup they were cooked in (it was great on pancakes too!) and used it to give my rind a lovely, sugary second dip. 

A few days in the dehydrator later and my candied rind is finally dried, very sweet and ready to be baked inside something amazing.

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