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Candied lemon peel on plate, to use on the creamy lemon pie with almond crust
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Candied Lemon Peel Recipe

These candied lemon peels are a delicious treat on their own (try dipping them in chocolate!) and make for a beautiful garnish on the creamy lemon pie. Take note that the peels need to dry for 4 to 5 hours (you can make them weeks ahead).
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candied citrus peel, candied lemon peel recipe, homemade candied lemon peel
Servings: 8 people


  • 2 medium lemons, preferably organic
  • 1 ½ cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water


  • Trim a small slice off the top and the bottom of each lemon. Standing a lemon on a flat side, cut off the peel and the pith by running your knife from top to bottom, removing the skin (try not to cut into the fruit, but if you do, lay the peel flat and shave off the juicy fruit). Cut the peel into ¼-inch strips. Repeat with the second lemon.
  • Place the lemon strips in a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat the process two more times (this helps removes the bitterness from the peel).
  • In the same pot (now drained), combine 1 cup of the sugar with the water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemon strips, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the peels are soft and slightly translucent, about 22 to 25 minutes. In the meantime, pour the remaining ½ cup of sugar into a shallow bowl.
  • Drain the lemon peels, give them a quick rinse, then drain again. Transfer the peels to paper towels just for a second (to get rid of excess moisture), then plop them into the bowl with the sugar. Using your fingers, gently toss the peels in the sugar to coat. Arrange the candied peels on a piece of wax or parchment paper, and let sit until dry, about 4 to 5 hours.


Do Ahead: The candied lemon peels can be stored at room temperature, lightly covered, for up to 1 month.
  • You can use this same method to make other candied citrus peels, such as orange rinds or grapefruit rinds.  
  • You’ll need to slice off just the outer rind of the fruit—if you get any of the juicy bits shave them off with a knife.