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It’s 8:25 in the morning and Gigi is running around the house wearing a to0 small swimsuit, and life jacket, and Little Miss Lulu is wearing too long princess dresses which she brings to me over and over and over again and demands, “cosuuuuume on, cosuuuuume on!” So the costumes go on and then come off, go on again, and off again. Gigi has orchestrated the conversion of our small living room into a beach: sand, water, beach chars, and pretend sunscreen. Something tells me these two are ready for warmer weather. Me too, kids.

with love kaciePIN

While they are passing these grey, freezing, uneventful winter days lounging at the beach and testing boundaries, I have been in the kitchen. Thanks to so many of you who donated, I’ve been able to indulge a bit in the wonderful winter citrus fruits that have been tempting me all season! Last time we were at the store I grabbed a few Meyer lemons and blood oranges with the intent of candying the lemons and using the blood oranges to brighten up a simple salad. Yesterday morning I set out to candy the Meyer lemons; the minute I sliced into them I felt the greyness of January lift away. Meyer lemons have such a wonderful scent: like tangerines, lemons, sugar, and sunshine combined. The lemons turned out so well I figured I should probably candy a couple of blood oranges too.

Candyied citrus fruit tastes like… well, candy! They’re like candy for grown ups. The approach is pretty simple, although I do have a couple important tips. The majority of recipes “out there” did not call for blanching the fruit first. I did a test, blanching half and not the other, and found that the blanched, then candied fruit was much softer, and turned completely translucent, while the unblanched fruit was a lot chewier and never fully turned translucent. You can actually see this difference in the first photo of the cooling Meyer lemons; the lemons on the left weren’t blanched, the ones on the right were. Conclusion: It’s worth the extra step to blanch the slices. The other note is that it’s important to have plenty of simple syrup that the fruit is simmering in; this gives the fruit the ability to float about, and it doesn’t reduce to a thick, dark, caramelized syrup during the hour that the fruit is cooking!

Candied Meyer LemonsPIN

Finally, you might be wondering what to do with candied citrus! Here’s a little list: eat it straight, add it to a cocktail (such as an Old Fashioned) in place of the syrup and lemon of orange garnish, you can also use it to top cakes or a bowl of ice cream or pancakes or yogurt! These are pretty versatile treats. This recipe would work well with all citrus fruit, and you could use the same approach for candying just the peels for cocktails. Now, without further ado, here is the recipe for Candied Meyer Lemon and Candied Blood Orange!

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4 Meyer lemons
2 blood oranges
4 cups granulated sugar
4 cups water
large pot of boiling water
large bowl of ice water

Wash the fruit, then slice 1/4” thick, discarding the ends. Pick out any seeds and discard them.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare a large bowl with ice water. Once the water is boiling, carefully drop in the slices of fruit. Stir gently and boil the slices for one minute. With tongs or a slotted spoon transfer the fruit to the ice bath until cool. Drain the fruit and separate the oranges from the lemons in preparation for candying them.

Divide the water and sugar into two large, non-reactive skillets, and heat on medium-high, stirring well, until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is simmering.

Add the oranges to one pan and the lemons to the other. Bring the liquid back to a low simmer. Cook the fruit at a low simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring and flipping the fruit occasionally. If the syrup starts to reduce to much add 1/4 cup of water to keep it the proper consistency. Cook until the white part of the rind has turned translucent. Using tongs, gently transfer the slices to a wire rack that has been placed over a baking sheet or roasting pan. Allow to cool completely before using.

Store in an airtight container with parchment paper to separate layers. The fruit will save in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
Save the cooled syrup for cocktails or to use over vanilla ice cream!


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