Recipe: candied citron
At last, the cookie baking is done! Now we are in overdrive tidying up around here and doing a little upgrading in the process. There has been no new snow and it was downright HOT in Boulder on Wednesday. 65°F is a heat wave for me and especially so when trying on alpine mountaineering jackets. Hot and shopping do not go well together. Gah! But it was warm enough for someone to get a bath in the driveway… not us, the dog.
she was none too thrilled about it
replacing my 15-year old track skis with these lovelies
We have a fluffy, clean, lavender-scented puppy and a semi-clean house (we’re getting there). It feels so good to have all of the baking done and most of the deliveries made. It stresses the hell out of me. But to see the smile on someone’s face or the joy in their voice when they are handed a bag of homemade goodies – a bag of love – it’s all worth it. Totally worth it. One of the seasonal favorites year after year is this lemon ginger cookie. A few years ago, I nearly panicked because I couldn’t find candied lemon peel (or candied citron) anywhere in town. I discovered that one specific Safeway location carries it for a short period before the holidays. But that year, they were cleaned out. Well, that’s no good. So I set about making my own.
enter the buddha’s hand
It’s a funky looking fruit that most people make weird faces at when they see it in the produce display. Every time I see Buddha’s hand, I hold one to my nose and inhale deeply. The scent is heavenly. I am obsessed with it. Todd and Diane introduced me to it because it grows in their paradise of a garden. Once, Diane posted a photo of a large green Buddha’s hand on the tree and wrote, “Jen, this one is yours.” Sure enough, a few weeks later I got a package in the mail with two huge and gorgeous Buddha’s hands from their garden. It’s one of the best care packages ever (second only to a box full of fresh passion fruits).
dice the citron
blanch in water for 30-40 minutes, then drain
add sugar and fresh water to the citron
I started making vodka infusions with the fruit, because it made for beautiful gifts as well as awesome lemon drop martinis. Then came the holiday season when I couldn’t find candied citron and discovered how easy it was to make at home.
stir to dissolve the sugar over medium heat
cook to 230°F (yes, use a candy thermometer)
when done, let the citron rest in the syrup for an hour
There is no “fruit” inside the Buddha’s hand like you would expect of other citrus, it’s all pith and peel. However, it’s all fabulously fragrant pith and peel that turns into a translucent, floral and lemony delight. Use it in fruitcakes, cookies, pastries. It is ten times better than the stuff you find in the grocery stores, and you get a flavored sugar syrup (to make cocktails, spritzers, cakes, etc.) as a by-product to boot!
like stained glass
from David Lebovitz
1-2 lbs. Buddha’s hand (about 2 medium)
3 cups (600 g) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) water
extra sugar for tossing (optional)
Wash and dry the Buddha’s hand(s). Break down each fruit and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the Buddha’s hand in a large pot and cover with twice as much water as required to just cover the fruit. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes. The citron should be translucent when done. Drain the water off. Place the sugar, 2 cups of fresh water, and the citron in the pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of your pan and cook the mixture to 230°F (213°F at 8500 ft.). Start stirring as the contents of the pan thicken to prevent burning the citron. Turn off the heat and let sit for an hour. Store the citron in the syrup in the refrigerator for up to a year or strain the excess syrup away (as much as you can) and toss with sugar. Reserve the syrup for other uses like cocktails or spritzers. Lay the pieces out to dry overnight, shake off excess sugar and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Makes 2-4 cups (depending on size of the Buddha’s hand).
more goodness from the use real butter archives
|candied lemon slices
|candied orange peels
|chocolate-dipped orange peel cookies
|chocolate-covered candied grapefruit