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Candied Kumquats and Candied Meyer Lemon Zest

Updated February 23, 2016
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Cookbook

The Sweet Life

Published by Bulfinch Press

I use these candied fruits as garnishes on many desserts at chanterelle, and they, along with their syrups, are a component in several of the recipes in this book.

Blanching citrus rind:

What we experience as “bitter” flavor in foods (including citrus rinds) is often attributable to tannins. Tannins are found in many fruits-especially in the skin or rind-and some vegetables, among other foods.

Cooking fruits and vegetables in water, even for the brief time involved in blanching, causes the cell walls to soften, releasing undesirable tannins as well as desirable essential oils and acids. Since tannins are water-soluble but essential oils are not, tannins are more likely than oils to be leached out by blanching; so despite the loss of some flavor due to the loss of oils, the net effect of blanching is to decrease astringency more than to decrease flavor.

In the candied kumquat recipe, it is not necessary to blanch the kumquat slices. Kumquats are very rich in pectin, and in the process of simmering them with sugar, the naturally present pectin absorbs and binds with the proteins containing tannins, taking their flavors out of circulation.

Kumquats:1 cup kumquat syrup and ¾ cup chopped candied kumquats Meyer lemon zest: ½ cup Meyer lemon zest syrup and ½ cup candied Meyer lemon strips

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturefruity, sweet, tart

Type of Dishfruit

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound (2 cups) fresh kumquats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 4 Meyer lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup

Instructions

Make the candied kumquats and syrup:

Slice off the ends of each kumquat, 1/16 inch round sliver. Slice the remaining fruit into 3 to 5 slices depending on its size. Combine the sliced kumquats, sugar, 1/3 cup water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan and bring the pan to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately turn down the heat and slowly simmer until the kumquats become somewhat translucent, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the syrup.

These kumquats in their syrup keep, in a sealed container and refrigerated, for several weeks.

Make the candied Meyer lemon zest and syrup:

Using a peeler with a square head, remove the zest of the lemons in long, even strokes. Slice the zest into long thin strips to make ½ cup of julienned Meyer lemon zest (½ inch long × 1/16 inch thick). In a small saucepan, combine the zest and 2 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Strain out the zest and discard the water. Repeat this process 3 more times. Combine the blanched zest, sugar, 1/3 cup water, and corn syrup in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the lemon peel for about 30 minutes.

This candied peel in its syrup will keep, in a sealed container and refrigerated, for several weeks.

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