Thursday, July 28, 2011

Candied Lemon Slices? Really??? Oh yesssssss.


This is obviously a sign that I have too much time on my hands but hey, it's summer break and I don't feel a darn bit guilty.  And so, why not candy lemons?  Had I heard of a candied lemon before today?  Maybe.  Had I spent much time contemplating the magical potential of such a union of sweet and sour?  No.  But tonight as I lie in bed typing, I can't stop thinking about them.  I know they are there, those little slices of sunshine, chilled and shiny, stretched out decadently on the parchment paper nest I have created for them in my refrigerator and yes, they call to me.  But unfortunately for me, these little wedges of lemon heaven have been promised to cupcakes which have been promised to guests of a baby shower I am hosting tomorrow and alas, the shame of serving naked cupcakes doth trump my desire for the naughty pleasure of biting through the bittersweet rind of a candied lemon.


And yes, I am proud to say that I straight up used the Martha Stewart recipe for candied lemon slices because (hurray!), the most exotic item called for in this recipe is, well, lemons.  A note to the wise, however, don't be like me and try to get all sexy with this recipe by using the "Sugar in the Raw" you keep next to your coffee.  That stuff will turn your pretty little lemons a funky brown which, while still delicious, looks a little past its prime when served up to guests.

So what to do with such pretty little delights?  Aside from an excellent garnish on pretty much anything baked (check out my strawberry lemonade cupcake post, for example), I also wrapped a few up in parchment paper as a sweet treat for some friends (and yes, your darn right I sealed it with a fabulous label).  This may just be my new trick, my new favorite little sweet gifty.  Maybe I'll become the Candied Lemon lady.  I could totally rock that.

I also loved this recipe because in the process, I was able to find ways to use every last drop of the dividends.  I used the leftover lemon water after blanching the lemon slices to make some lemon tea and vinaigrette and you better also believe I was not about to dump out that delicious syrup left over from the candying process.  I poured that sweet lemony goodness into the Lickety Sip Ice Pop Makers I am kind of obsessed with right now, mixed some frozen tart cherries left over from some recent berry picking in there and made some darn good cherry-lemonsicles.  How's that for squeezing a whole lotta yum out of two lemons?

Note: I don't want to go all granola on you all (although who am I kidding?) but even though lemons aren't on the dirty dozen list, I totally recommend buying organic lemons for this one since the rind is meant to be eaten.


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