Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Edible Holiday Gift Idea: Candied “Buddha’s Hand” Citron

Welcome to our annual homemade edible gift episode, where you finally figure out what to get that “special” (aka super-picky and has everything) foodie on your holiday list. By the way, if you’re a fan of candied citrus, you ‘ll want to make extra, since Buddha’s Hand is a unique and special treat.

To me this crazy looking fruit tastes/smells like a really fragrant Meyer lemon with hints of grapefruit, and if you can find it, I recommend you give it a go. It’s not cheap, but what is? If you can’t find it, don’t despair; this technique works perfectly fine with strips of orange or lemon peel.

Regarding the blanching step I mention in the video; I heard that pre-boiling wasn’t necessary for this fragrant fruit, as it’s not as bitter as other types of citrus, so I tested it both ways, and I’m glad I did.

The batch I boiled in water first had virtually no bitterness left, and still had a fairly strong citrus flavor. The batch that was candied raw definitely had a more fragrant aroma and vibrant taste, but unfortunately there was a distinct bitter aftertaste.

So, I recommend the boiling step, especially if you’re going to be making this primarily as a candy. If you were going to be cooking with it, in things like fruitcakes, then you could probably get away with the bigger flavor, and slight bitter edge.

Either way, I hope you can get your hands on some of these hands, and give this fun, and easy to make holiday confection a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 2 cups of candied citron:
(warning, I didn’t measure very carefully, but that doesn’t matter here. As long as you have enough simple syrup to cook your citrus in, you are fine)
3 cups cubed Buddha’s Hand citron, washed thoroughly, or other citrus peel, sliced into 1/4-inch strips (simmer in plain water for 20-30 minutes before candying step)
2 1/2 cups sugar (plus extra for tossing the candied fruit in)
2 cups water
- cook on medium heat, stirring, until the syrup reaches 230F.

12 comments:

PatrickHD said...

I Wonder, if dialing down the blanching time would make a nice middle road.

Sandy said...

Hi Chef John, just want to say Merry Christmas to you and your family, and thank you for your great videos and recipes. I enjoy watching and I learn a lot (even though I've been cooking for 40 years)...I often pass along your recipes to my kids, maybe they'll learn to be good cooks watching you, and my son has your cookbook. Thanks for all the effort you put into helping us cook better!
Sandy in Georgia

Krystal Klear said...

So just go ahead and blanch it? I figured

Findia Group said...

Thanks for sharing!Great job.

William DiStefano said...

since you candied them, are you intending to offer somebody a "Buddah Finger?"

Peter B. said...

Thanks. Video does good description. Wanted to copy recipe into my paprika app (recipe organizer), but found written rexipe not very clear. Ended up having to watch video again.

Matthew said...

I am not sure if I am dissapointed that you didn't make an "All the Single Layers's" joke....

If you had, I would have put a ring on it...

Merry Christmas, and all the best greetings of the season, to you and your family.

Meek said...

I can't believe I found a recipe for this fruit! Found the fruit, didn't know what it is or what I could with it; then suddenly I spot this on YouTube! Thank you! Will try it now!

Omar Ajmal said...

Hey John and everyone else!
I really love sour candies, just wondering if you've tried (or have any thoughts on) also adding in the juice of the citrus while simmering the citrus pieces?

I'm wondering if this will result in a much more sour tasting candy? What do you think?

West Coast John Poole said...

Add 1-2 Tablespoons invert sugar (white Karo syrup) to the liquid at the outset.

This will help keep them chewy, otherwise they will harden with time as the sugar continues to go through a crystalline transformation. The invert sugar basically interferes with the crystalline structuring.

Jeff said...

This reminds me of when I made orange marmalade. However, it just hit me... is this how I would go about creating the candied lemon/orange rinds that go into fruitcake?

KikiLove said...

I'm modifying this recipe to make candied sour watermelon rind. I picked one of my watermelons too early and decided to experiment rather than waste it. I peeled the dark green skin off the rind, cut it into chunks, blanched it and followed the same formula for your candied citron. However, I wanted a little more complexity, so I added a tiny bit of lemon peel, freshly grated nutmeg, two crushed green cardamom pods, and about 2.5tsp of citric acid to the syrup. For a little extra color, I added 3 drops of natural red gel food coloring. We'll see how it turns out.