I’m constantly amazed by the fact that nature gives us the exact things we need during each given season. Citrus season might be my favorite fruit season, just because it’s such a ray of sunshine in the midst of winter bleakness. The contrast between the quiet darkness of this time of year and the bright, juicy, sweet citruses that spring up at the stores is especially intense. Our grocery store is exploding with all kinds of citrus varieties, more than I can count on my two hands. I couldn’t resist getting a few citrons, since they smelled amazing, and I had never tried them before. I knew that they have a really thick rind (they are mostly rind really), which is great for candying. After doing some research, I also learned that citron is one of the original citrus fruit, from which a lot of the other household citruses were developed.
So, to celebrate this year’s citrus season, I made some candied, chocolate-dipped citron. The process will make your kitchen smell amazing, and the result is such a unique and delicious treat, with a perfect balance of sweetness, bitterness, and citrusy zing. I also made a ‘day of eating’ video, which takes you through the whole candying process, as well as a day of plant-based meals. All the recipes and things mentioned in the video are linked below :)
- 2 citrons
- 1½ cup maple syrup or a mixture of maple syrup and honey (not vegan)
- 1 cup water, plus more for blanching the citron pieces
- ½ - ¾ cup chocolate chips
- Wash and dry the citrons. Cut out any flesh and seeds (you can juice the flesh and use the juice in your water, in salad dressing, or as an acidic finish to any savory dish), then cut the rind into strips. Put the rind strips in a medium pot, cover with water, and blanch the citron pieces in simmering water for 30 minutes, until translucent.
- Drain the citrons and return to the same pot. Add the maple syrup/honey (if using) and water. Bring the mixture up to a boil, stirring a few times. Turn the heat down to establish a strong simmer, and simmer until the syrup reduces, almost completely. You should be left with candied citron strips, covered in a thin layer of syrup. This will take about an hour or more. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Transfer the strips to a wire drying rack to let any excess syrup drain off.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips on a double boiler. Dip each citron strip into the chocolate, so that it's about half way covered. Transfer back to the drying rack. Once you've dipped all the citron strips in the chocolate, transfer the whole rack to the refrigerator to let the chocolate harden. Keep the candied citron refrigerated in an airtight container. Enjoy!