Monday, January 13, 2014

Candied Lemon Zest

Candied Lemon Zest
I'm in the process of developing a recipe for Baby Lemon Tarts and I know I'm going to want to garnish the tops of them with Candied Lemon Zest which is so simple to make.

The great thing about Candied Lemon Zest is that you can make it in advance because it keeps for up to a month in a sealed container at room temperature. I've tried keeping it in the refrigerator for longer period of time and the problem is that it weeps and gets very sticky.

Besides being used as an edible garnish, the candied zest can be added to tea for a bit of lemony sweetness and added to salads.

One of my favorite salads is made with baby spinach, cucumber, pickled red onion, candied lemon zest and crumbled halloumi. The salty sweet/tart combination of the halloumi and zest is so gooood! I toss the salad with olive oil mixed with a bit of lemon juice and season it with salt, fresh cracked black pepper and oregano. I'm getting hungry as I write this.

Candied Lemon Zest
(makes 48 to 64 pieces)

1 large organic lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
drop yellow food coloring (optional)
extra sugar

Line a sheetpan with parchement paper and preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
In a small saucepan stir together the water, sugar and coloring and set aside.

Slice the lemon into 1/8-inch slices and cut each slice into 8 wedges.

Slice the lemon into 1/8-inch slices.

Cut each slice into 8 wedges.
Cut the strip of zest off of each wedge and place in the water/sugar mixture. Don't toss the inside portions of the lemon wedges. They should be saved and used to flavor water and/or tea.

Cut the strip of zest off of each wedge.

Once all the zest strips are in the water/sugar mixture, place the saucepan over medium high heat until simmering. Simmer for 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove the zest strips from the pan using a slotted spoon and place them on the parchment lined sheetpan.

Place the strips in the preheated 200 degree oven for 30 minutes to help dry them out a bit. After baking, place the zest in a bowl with two tablespoons of sugar and toss to evenly coat.

Store the candied zest in an airtight container for up to one month.

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