Candied Lemon Peels

The holiday season is upon us, and that means it’s time for a smattering of gastronomic specialties ranging from special beverages to desserts to main courses. If you’re looking for an easy and elegant way to spruce up the presentation of your dishes, try these beautiful and delicious candied lemon peels. If you can restrain yourself from devouring them first, candied lemon peels can be used to decorate cake tops, garnish a roast, or embellish a cocktail. However, remember to choose organic lemons for this recipe to avoid exposure to pesticide residues.

The Science

 A study in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants tested over 240 samples of citrus for residues of over 200 different pesticides. Researchers found that 95% of the conventional citrus sampled tested positive for residues while only 3 of 23 certified organic samples showed very low pesticide residue levels. The remaining samples were considered pesticide-free.

The Recipe

Photo credit: Timlewisnm Photo credit: Timlewisnm


  •  4 organic lemons
  • 6 cups of organic white sugar


Using a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife, peel lengthwise to create strips of lemon peel. Do your best to peel just the yellow part of the lemon peel, avoiding the white pith. Save the lemon for later use.

Over medium heat dissolve 4 cups of sugar in 4 cups of water to create simple syrup. Add the lemon peels to the syrup and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes—until the peel is soft and translucent. Remove the peels from the syrup and arrange them on a cooling rack to cool and dry for at least one hour. Toss the lemon peels in the remaining 2 cups of sugar to absorb any remaining moisture and to give them a crystallized look. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.


Banner Photo Credit: Okeykat;

candy, non-gmo, organic, pesticides, dessert, holidays, garnish