Candy & Confectionery Recipes > Lemon Drops

How to make lemon drops:
Sugar was made into candies (sweets) of this sort since sugar was first brought to Europe. Elizabethans in particular would make what they called 'comfits' which were made by building up layers of boiled sugar over something like a caraway seed. They were used to sweeten the breath but in fact lead to severe rotting of the teeth. Sugar was of course extremely expensive at that time and was thus only used by the very wealthy.
It is probably worth buying the best lemon essence or even experimenting with lemon zest to obtain the best flavor.
See Cooking with Sugar for information on the tricky process of boiling sugar.


3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 pint water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
lemon essence to taste
1 dessertspoon cream of tartar
(see measure conversions for more information)


- Boil the first three ingredients together until the mixture becomes pale yellow.
- Remove from the heat and add lemon essence to taste.
- Turn out onto an oiled marble slab.
- Sprinkle the 1 dessertspoon of cream of tartar onto the candy and knead in thoroughly, when cool enough.
- Form into thin rolls, cut into small pieces with scissors and shape into sweets by hand.
- Sift with icing sugar and allow to dry thoroughly.