Candied Buddha's Hand Citron

Our friends Pat and Allen have a Buddha's Hand Tree, and offered us a chance to harvest a couple of the fruits! Pat also shared her recipe for delicious candied Buddha's citron. It's yummy as candy or in cookies -- and it makes your kitchen smell heavenly as you cook it up. 

Ingredients

1-2 Buddha's hand citron, washed well, and chopped (as described below).

For every 3 C chopped buddha's hand (I often have 6-9 C), use:
- 2 C water (takes longer to reduce the more water you use)
- 3 C granulated sugar (sometimes I use 2 C and it seems to work fine)

Instructions

Dice the citron, taking care to use only the portions that include the zest and some pith. Discard interior pith portion that has no zest.

Option: To reduce cooking time below, place diced citron in saucepan covered with water, bring to boil and simmer 30-40 min; drain.

Put candy thermometer in a pan, add the diced citron and the water and sugar.

Put it on medium heat and wait for it to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Adjust the heat to a simmer and allow it to bubble slowly for an hour or two (less if pre-boiled), stirring occasionally (I set a timer for 10-15 minutes to check and stir). 

As it reduces, the sugar syrup will become thicker and the fruit will start to become translucent. Toward the later stage of thickening, the temperature will finally begin to climb above 220. Begin watching closely, checking every 5 minutes.

Bring to 230 degrees F, the soft thread stage, then remove from heat. Do not allow the temperature to exceed this stage or you will not be able to separate the candy and it will become brittle.

Turn off the heat and rest the citron in the syrup for 30 minutes or so. The resting period helps the syrup to fully penetrate the fruit.

Drain the citron through a sieve or colander, retaining the delicious syrup, which should be refrigerated.

Spread the citron on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper, scattering to separate the citron if possible. Allow to dry completely. move it around with a spatula occasionally. You might change the paper the next day to get rid of the excess sugar and speed the drying process. It can take 2-3 days to dry fully.






When dry, store the candied citron in the refrigerator and use in baking or as candy. The syrup is delicious poured over vanilla ice cream.

Thanks, Pat & Allen!

Cooling 30 minutes to rest and absorb the syrup; then drain, spread on sheet, and save syrup!





Buddha's Hand tree:


A few days later, Pat and Allen gave me 8 more! That led to biscotti :)


 

Walking through China Town in SF a few days after that, we saw them for sale - for $7 a pound!


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