A winter rejoicing citrus recipe with sweet syrup, spices and whisky!
Cooking and preserving citrus in winter is fun! Being able to source organic ones is preferable and easier when you live in a climate suitable for their cultivation. The best citrus fruits are definitely the ones you can pick from a backyard tree. While my little citrus trees are establishing, they are not producing much. Luckily, I can ask around for extra lemons, cumquats and oranges, and some people share and sell them at community markets. Any type of citrus can be candied in this recipe, but my favourites are cumquats or bitter oranges. Just make sure you choose fruits that are free from pesticides as the peel is definitely the best part once cooked and candied. Before cooking, wash the citrus peel well with water and remove any spots with a peeler. This recipe can be bottled as a preserve for up to one year but alternatively, you can also keep the citrus slices and syrup separately in the fridge for 2 weeks. Candied citrus can be served with toasted bread or in various recipes. They are the main ingredient for my Citrus Mini Cakes and Citrus Duck Confit recipes (to come). If you are keen on a “tipsy” flavour, choose your favourite whisky. I use the Canadian Sortilège, which is a whisky and maple liquor. The alcohol will be reduced when boiled, but if you prefer not to add whisky, maple syrup or vanilla extract will be just as delicious!
Citrus candied delight • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2021-23
500g citrus slices, seeds removed (or halves for cumquats)*
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tbsp maple whisky (Canadian Sortilège or mix of maple syrup and whisky)
2 stars anise
Pinch of ground clove
PREPARATION: In a saucepan, slowly dissolve the sugar in the water on low heat.
Bring to the boil, and add whisky and spices.
Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Add citrus and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the syrup and the fruits are translucent.
Ladle the citrus into sterilized jars, and cover with syrup*.
Then give the full and sealed jars a 10-minute water bath.
Let the jars cool down and then store in a cool and dark place for up to one year.
Refrigerate after opening.
*Keep the extra syrup in jars in the fridge and use it for cocktails, marinades and desserts.