The fruity and floral notes of the Meyer lemon rind pair nicely with the perfumed aroma of vanilla. In addition to these fragrant candies, the leftover pulp and vanilla-honey syrup can then be muddled together with water to make a fantastic lemonade and nothing goes to waste! —S. Mitrovich
about 2 cups of peels
mild flavored honey
vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 tbs vanilla extract
orange blossom water (optional)
granulated sugar, for rolling peels
bittersweet chocolate, melted and tempered for dipping (optional)
Cut the lemons lengthwise into quarters. Remove the peel (including the pith) from each segment, reserving the fruit for lemonade or another use. Cut the peels lengthwise into ¼ inch slices.
Place the lemon peels in pot and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil then drain. Repeat 2 more times to remove the bitterness from the peels.
In a medium size pot, add the honey, sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, swirling the contents of the pot rather than stirring. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean then add both beans and seeds to the pot. Then add the salt and orange blossom water. Swirl the pot and simmer for another minute or two until all is combined. Add the drained peels to the pot and swirl. Reduce the heat to medium low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the syrup has thickened and the peels are translucent, about 45 minutes.
Drain peels, reserving the syrup for lemonade, tea or another use. Roll peels in granulated sugar, knock off excess and dry on a cooling rack for about 4 hours.
For an extra decadent candy, dip one inch of the dried peel in melted, tempered bittersweet chocolate. Lay on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and let cool. Place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before removing from parchment.
Peels will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.