Friday, February 24, 2017

Candied Citrus

Do you know that feeling you get when you smell something and it  evokes a memory in your brain, that then brings a feeling over your body that you can't describe? For me, it is often my mother's perfume.
I get a whiff of it every now and then, and my brain takes my body right back to that place where I was a child and all is right with the world. There are many brain/body food memories I have, too. Even though food is plentiful, re-creating those memories are difficult.
I did manage to re-create a food memory with candied citrus. I ate lemon drops as a child. I loved the sweetness of the lumpy sugar-coated candy that was in perfect balance with the sour mouth-puckering tartness. I recently bought lemon drops for  a martini recipe and decided to try one whole. I popped it in my mouth with high expectations. It wasn't what I remembered.
Making my own candied citrus did the trick. This recipe is simple and easy. It requires only citrus fruit, sugar, and water. The best part is that the sweet/sour feeling in my mouth is real. It's not manufactured, and the flavor is out of this world.
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c water for the first simmer
  • 1 c water for the simple syrup
  • 1 piece  oraganic citrus fruit (remember that the peel will be eaten)
Slice the citrus fruit. I sliced some of mine too thin for my liking, but use your preference. A slightly thicker slice will also hold up better as it's drying. I like mine to be between, 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.
In a small pot, simmer the water and citrus slices for 10 minutes. Drain the water off and set the slices aside, in a single layer, to dry a little. Mix a cup of water with a cup of sugar to make a simple syrup over medium heat. When the sugar has completely dissolved into the water, and the liquid is clear, add the citrus slices. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the fruit becomes beautifully translucent. Remove the slices onto a wire rack. Let cool 10 minutes and sprinkle with sugar. Take a bite and let me know if that isn't the best candied citrus you've had since you were a child. Keep the simple syrup in a jar in the refrigerator. I've got a Dutch Baby recipe coming that you may like to use it with. I've also got a Khan Plov coming in which you may like to use these gems of fruit you've just created.

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