Fruits of the Solstice

We have been keeping up the citrus experiments. Each evening we try something new. The Lovely has been trying out some more ideas with citrus jelly. She uses oranges, limes, lemon, lemonade and tangelos. Whatever is ripe and plentiful on the day.
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Citrus Jelly
375 mls. of Juice
125g of sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of gelatine.
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Squeeze 375 mls. of Juice from the above fruit. Use whatever mix of citrus fruit that you have.
Take 125g of sugar and dissolve it in 100 g of hot water. Stir to dissolve.
Zest some of the skins into the sugar/water mix.
Dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons of gelatine powder in 8 tablespoons of cold water. Sit the small bowl of gelatine and cold water in a bigger bowl of hot water to encourage the gelatine to dissolve.
Once the gelatine is dissolved, mix it into the sugar water and both into the fruit juice.
Stir well as it cools down. Once cooled, place in fridge to set into jelly. It may need to be stirred a few more times during the time in the fridge to stop the gelatine settling out.
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It’s very easy to make and to eat. It goes very well with either ice cream for desert or yoghurt for breakfast.
Candy for grown-ups
I was recently given a bag of old fashioned citrons by a lovely friend. She tells me that her husband makes marmalade from them. I try them for marmalade, but I think that the flavour is rather too strong. So I decided to try my hand at making candied, citron peel from them. I use candied peel for adding in with other dried fruits when baking some cakes. particularly for panforte or sometimes in muesli.
Candying fruit is an easy thing to do in the background while you do other things in the kitchen at night.
This is a pretty standard recipe and technique. You can use any thick skinned citrus.
Candied Citron Peel
Cut the citron fruit lengthways into quarters and again in half into eighths, cut out the centre of the fruit to leave the white pith and peel.
Place in a saucepan and cover with water, then bring to the boil for a few minutes, maybe 10 or so. Discard the water and refresh. this removes a lot of the bitterness. Bring back to the boil and simmer for half an hour or so, or until softened.
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Drain off the water and weigh it. Add 1kg of sugar for every litre of water or part thereof proportionally. Return to the stove and bring back to the boil and let it simmer for another half hour or so. Leave to cool in the liquid over night.
In the morning drain and leave on a drying rack to dry, or place in stove on rack and dry for an hour or so on very low, with the fan on, if you have one?
The strips should be dry enough now to ‘keep’ in a jar in the fridge without going off.
You can roll them in caster sugar if you want to. I don’t.
Don’t dry them too much or they will become rock hard.
Winter is not just the time time for citrus. The avocados are in full crop just now too.
They don’t really ripen on the tree. It’s best if you pick them a week or so before you need them. So The Lovely picks a few each week, so that there is an ongoing supply available.
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It’s an easy and quick lunch to slice over toast with a squeeze of lemon and some freshly ground pepper. Our good friend Toni Warburton comes for the weekend firing workshop and leaves us some smoked trout to put on top.
Yum! Thank you Toni.
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Best wishes
from The Candy Man and his Sweetie