Get ready. These are my new favorite thing and I suspect they could end up being your favorite thing. Imagine plump, juicy, citrus-like portions coated with thin, crisp, sugar shells. You bite them through the crust and the citrus fruits explode with a wave of sweetness. It's an idea I'd like to think of myself, but it's actually a recipe from Amanda Cohen's Dirt Candy, featured in Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook. Amanda was inspired by a food seller on the way to Beijing. And, it's funny, there's a beautiful photo of grapefruit that leaves in the book, but it was the street vendor's description and the way his slices illuminate the whole street that charm me to try them.
A couple of things you need to note before you do that. It is helpful to have a block of foam from a packet or type of foam that you can use to arrange flowers. This helps the hosts stay upright as you caramel them. The other thought is how warm it is to let the sugar get. Amanda recommends that you go to 275 – 300 ° F – or until the mixture is light brown. I like the boats that go a little darker than that, you get a lot of candy and molasses notes that the game of citrus in magical ways. The orange parts of the blood I made in the darker sugar mix were a complete revelation. But this is all personal preference, so experimenting to understand where you would like to be in the spectrum. One last thing to say, if your mixture does not burn enough, the candy shell will not be put.
I found that the easiest citrus fruit to cope with was anything easy to peel, with few seeds, and small to medium size. Some of the grapefruit was hard to peel and keep intact. Kishu tangerines, on the other hand, is a dream to work with (image). Play around – this is the peak citrus season and this makes for a dramatic snack, treat or dessert!