How to make your own candied citron and candied quince.
It’s almost fruitcake season. Whoa………stay with me! The word “fruitcake” often sends people running, but homemade fruitcake is sweet, tangy, and delicious. Of course, that is because we use better quality ingredients when we make something from scratch.
Candied citron is a perfect example. I avoid that green syrupy stuff at the grocery store. But I have always wanted to try making my own. So when I stumbled across a Buddha’s Hand citron I grabbed it – even though it was a bit pricey at nearly $6 for one citron.
Turns out that citron has real flavor, even once candied. I guess as we could expect it tastes and smells faintly of lemon. Making the candy was quick and fairly easy.
- 1 Buddha's Hand citron
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- Wash citron, trim the end, and cut into small cubes.
- Cover the citron cubes with water in a small saucepan.
- Bring the water to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until the citron pieces are nearly translucent.
- Drain citron and set aside.
- Combine 1½ cups of sugar and the 1 cup of water in the saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes, or until it reaches the soft thread stage (232 degrees).
- Add the citron pieces and continue simmering gently, stirring just enough to cover the pieces with syrup.
- Cook for about 45 minutes. Don't stir while cooking.
- Drain the citron, cool slightly , and roll in the remaining ½ cup sugar.
- Let dry overnight. Store in an airtight container.
I used the same process to make candied quince, although as you can see I did overcook it a bit. Candied quince will be a welcome addition to this year’s fruitcake collection.
I also made some Quince Paste from the fresh quince. You can find the recipe here.
What about you – have you made any unusual candied fruit?
What is the measured ratio of citron to sugar, water? I am wanting to use this recipe with kumquat or kumquat peels. I don’t know how many cups a buddha’s hand citron is when cut into cubes. Thanks!
Wanda, I would guess about 1 1/2-2 cups to the stated amount of sugar water. You want the peels to be submerged in the sugar water. Sounds good though. I love “playing” with kumquats!
I’ve never had fresh Citron before. When you talk about cutting the Citron into cubes, do you actually mean the whole fruit including the peel? I understood that Citron was made from the peel of the fruit.
Jospeh, yes, you use the whole fruit. Citron (at least in my experience) doesn’t have what we would consider “flesh” like other citrus fruits do. It’s just peel and zest. Perhaps the specimens I can purchase locally are immature, if so – that’s the kind to use!
Just a fyi, I have been canning quince for 60 years or there about. Quince when cooked can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a deep dark garnet color. It makes incredible jelly and butters, I make lots of it every year. A big favorite with my family and friends. So relax you did not over cook it. It is such a beautiful fruit to work with. I make a Quince Tartlet that is done in a cast iron frying pan and the crust is on the top then you turn it out upside down on a plate, it makes a wonderful presentation and is delicious. I like your web site, has things that I have done or will do after seeing it here. Keep up the good work . Share all of your skills they are being lost in this era of “Go to the store” mentality. One of my very best memory is teaching my granddaughter how to can this summer and to see how beaming she was with her finished product.
Sara, thank you for the kind words. I love cooking and canning with my grandchildren too. It’s nice to hear of someone who cooks with quince. Do you have your own tree? I usually get a few every year from a local farmer, but was out of town this year and missed them. We all like membrillo, or quince paste: https://www.seedtopantry.com/2014/11/10/how-to-make-quince-paste/
With the candied quince I cooked it until it became sticky – just a bit longer than I should have. The beautiful color really adds to fruitcakes though. I am missing it this year!