i have had this recipe for lemon suck since 1990. it is from deborah madison's the savory way. we were living in brooklyn when i came across this recipe and i remember the feeling of camaraderie with the very first tenants of that old brooklyn brownstone. it still seems like something that they would have enjoyed.
it is an old family recipe that was used in tea, both to sweeten it and to provide the lemon flavor. the candied walnuts and lemon slices are delicious to suck on after the tea is drunk, hence the name.
12 washed lemons, sliced very thinly
3 cups sugar
1.5 cups water
.25 cup walnuts, chopped coarsely
wash the lemons well and slice them thinly into rounds. combine the sugar and water in a heavy pan and bring it to a boil. stir to dissolve the sugar, then lower the heat and add the lemon slices. cook over low heat until the lemons are golden-colored and starting to become transparent near the skin, after about an hour. add the walnuts and cook for another five minutes. pour into sterilized jars and process in a water-bath.
note: the family recipe says to leave the seeds in because you waste a lot of the juice and time trying to remove them.
it is below freezing in south texas and i am beyond longing for spring. digging out this recipe that has haunted me for twenty years was necessary yesterday. maybe, it was the need of humidifying the house with vitamin c.
i thought to halve the recipe in case the lemon suck sucked, but i can say that i was not disappointed in this lovely recipe. my only regret is that it took me twenty years to make it.