Around since the 14th century, candying fruit was originally a way of preserving fruit to make it last longer. Now it is normally done for more fanciful reasons than that, we thought it was a lovely thing to make and looks very impressive for not a lot of effort. There’s also lots of things that can be done with it, put it into little bags and give it away as token presents, perfect with Christmas coming up, use it to decorate cupcakes, or just leave it in a jar for when you fancy a sweet nibble.
We wanted to make ours that little bit different, so we used some of these flavoured sugars from The Gourmet Spice Co. They worked beautifully, the lavender had a lovely floral flavour, whilst the cinnamon sugar was like a little taste of christmas. You can get them here, so you can give your candied fruit that extra special touch.
A bit of time does go into making these, so perhaps try and do it whilst making something else, or just have a magazine on the side to read in the gaps.
1. Take a lemon and an orange, cut the tops and bottoms off either of them, and then score the edges at 1cm intervals. Peel the skin off in these strips.
2. These strips should be boiled for around 7 minutes, drained and then rinsed with cold water. This should be done 3 times to remove any bitterness from the peel, and no one wants a bitter fruit.
3. Fill a pan with around a pint of water and 300g of sugar, and bring to the boil, add the peel and then reduce to a simmer - this should be left until the fruit has absorbed a large amount of the sugary liquid. We found this took quite a long time, so this is where the magazine comes in handy.
4. Once the peel has soaked up most of the syrup (it will have developed a sticky texture too as well as looking crystallised) remove from the heat, and place the peel, piece by piece in a bowl of sugar to coat it, before placing on a rack to dry out.
5. Leave over night to dry out.
It looks very professional, but all it really is is sugar and fruit, and anyone can combine those two things. Kids will love it, and will make a tasty change from processed sweets found in shops.