Julia Child’s Candied Citrus Peel

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“Julia says, these are “…a charming edible decoration for sherbets, puddings, and many fruit desserts. Once made, refrigerate in a covered jar where it will keep for weeks.” Adapted from “The Way to Cook,” and is used in her “Fresh Lemon Sherbet” recipe. Be sure to use nicely ripe fruit.”
1hr 35mins
1 batch

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. With a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the zest from the lemons without getting any of the white pith included. Cut them into julienne strips 1 1/2 inches long and less than 1/8 inch wide.
  2. In 1 quart of water, simmer the zests for 6 minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
  3. Bring the 1/3 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan and add the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved.
  4. Cover the pan tightly and, as Julia says, “boil for a moment or two, until the last drops of syrup to fall from the end of a metal spoon form a thread.” (This part of Julia’s recipe is, I understand, a little vague. Yet sometimes cooking requires the actual experience to really know, and perhaps this is one of those times.).
  5. Remove saucepan from the heat, stir in the peel and let steep for an hour.
  6. Use in the “Fresh Lemon Sherbet” recipe or store in the refrigerator in a covered jar where it will keep for weeks.
  7. Makes one batch of candied zests for the 12 servings of sherbet.

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