Candied Lemon Peel
This recipe came from: StevenRN on allrecipes.com, picture also.
**** I made it exactly as said. I ended up with bitter peels and bitter simple syrup.
**** Perfect! I peeled the skin with a vegetable peeler. I used 4 small lemons (could have used 5 or 6 with just the peelings). No pith to peel. Not bitter at all. I boiled the lemons just once for 5 minutes. The key for me was the second boil in the sugar water. The directions state to boil until 'transparent'. This took about 20-30 minutes and the end result was evident as I tasted the lemon at the 10 minute boil mark and it definitely was not ready. The lemon peel was sticky so I dipped it in sugar and that made it easier to chop.
**** I didn't have a problem at all with this recipe, and the lemon simple syrup that is left over is wonderful for lemon drop cocktails! In fact, I'm now using this recipe for making the syrup and not the other way around! Anyway, I prefer my candied peel to be dry and crunchy. So I leave it out in the air for a few days before storing it in an airtight container. While "curing", I shake the peels around a few times, to help separate them and keep them from turning into big blobs of candy. Once they're fully dry, they don't stick together unless they get damp. I also don't store mine in the refrigerator, but in the cupboard. Also Make sure you chop the strips up a little bit, so that they don't get hopelessly tangled during the boiling process.
**** Regarding the bitterness: This comes from the oils in the peel, not from the pith, which is virtually tasteless. To reduce bitterness in the peels, drain off the boiling water, refill with cold water and bring to a boil again. The more you repeat this step, the less bitter it will be. Be careful, though, because too much boiling will render your candy tasteless. 2-3 times is usually enough. Test by tasting. I don't remove the pith; it acts as an absorbent, soaking up the sugar syrup and giving my peels body, so I use thick-skinned lemons.