Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Candied Citrus Slices

One of my weddings last weekend had a "citrus" motif and color scheme. Slices of lemons and limes edged the jars that served as vases for the yellow and orange flower arrangements. The bride also wanted lemon and orange slices on the wedding cake.

I thought the results were very sweet. When I delivered the cake, the mother of the bride got very excited. She exclaimed that is was exactly what her daughter wanted. Since the bride was in a photo session at the time I didn't get to see her reaction but no doubt she was pleased.

I didn't place freshly cut citrus on the cake since that would have reacted with the icing and the slices would not have stayed fresh looking. I candied the fruit first and here is how I did it.

First I found some nice fruit, without bruises or marks on the skin that were uniform in their roundness.

I sliced them in about a 3/16th inch thickness, trying to keep the slices all the same.

I made a sugar syrup with one part water and one part sugar. An addition of corn syrup keeps the sugar from crystallizing when it cools. So the recipe is one cup water, one cup sugar and one tablespoon corn syrup. (I doubled this for the amount of fruit I used.)  Bring this syrup to a rolling boil.

Turn off the heat and add the sliced fruit. There should be enough syrup to cover the fruit, though the slices will float. Put a lid on the pan and set it aside to cool with the lid in place, two or more hours. Since I was doing this right at bedtime (forgot to get it done earlier) I let it sit all night.

After it's completely cool, lay the candied fruit slices onto paper towels to drain and dry out. These can be used to decorate cakes, cheesecakes or tarts.

I also use this same method to candy strips of lemon or orange peel to use as delicious embellishments.

Bonus: the lemony sugar syrup can be used in cocktails! 
Lemon Drop anyone?

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