Wow, thank you all for such a wonderful response to the Aebleskivers post. I was not the only one who’d never heard of these fabulous little pastry orbs, but most of you had! I was struck by how many stories there were of people eating them as children and in particular from Solvang, California. A destination to be added to my travel plans.
Thanks also to the folks at Aunt Else’s Aebleskivers for sharing this fantastic prize with us. So many of you were interested in their cast iron Aebleskiver pan that they have generously reduced the price for all of you who did not win this time. Check out their website for details. Now the lucky winner of the Aunt Else’s Aebleskiver mix and pan is Jane! She said the pan has been on her wish list for years and no one has ever gotten it for her. This is your lucky year! Enjoy.
This time of year you find many recipes that call for candied fruits. I use them in my Panettone recipe from Artisan Bread in Five, in a chocolate ginger biscotti, a Trinidadian rum cake, for my granny’s maple brown-butter shortbread cookies or just dipped in bittersweet chocolate. The problem is most of the candied fruit you can find in the stores are flavorless, overly sweet and have a chemical after taste. Not exactly inspiring! Many people forgo the candied fruit altogether in order to avoid these lack luster store bought products. It is a shame, because making your own is so easy and they are absolutely addicting. I make a huge batch and end up eating half of it right off of the drying rack. I love the the color and taste of the pink grapefruit when it is candied, but you can use the same technique to make candied orange, lemon, lime or any other citrus fruit.
There are many different ways to candy fruit but I find this one the easiest. I learned this technique when I was at the CIA from Thomas Gumpel. I think Emily Luchetti does a marvelous job of explaining it in her Four-Star Desserts book. The recipe is easily doubled or tripled.
2 small grapefruits, washed (3 oranges, lemons or limes)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar (plus more for coating the candied fruit)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1 tablespoon corn syrup (this prevents the sugar from crystallizing as you cook the fruit in the syrup)
Pick beautifully colored fruit and wash it well!
Cut off the skin of the fruit,
then cut it into strips and remove some of the bitter pith. Don’t go crazy, it won’t matter that much in the end and you don’t want the candy to be too thin.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the peels. Boil for 5 minutes and strain. Refill the pot with fresh water and bring it to a boil again. Add the peels and boil for another 5 minutes, strain and repeat this 2 more times for a total of 4 pots of boiling fresh water. This process of blanching the peels removes the bitter flavor and is essential to the success of your efforts.
Place your blanched peels in the pot, add the sugar, 1 1/2 cups water and lemon juice.
Cook on medium low heat until all of the peels are translucent, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Drain the citrus peels on a wire rack, with a piece of parchment or cookie sheet under it, to catch the drips. Let sit several hours (overnight) to air-dry.
Toss the candied peels in sugar! They will last at room temperature for a couple of weeks.
Congratulations again to Jane! I hope you enjoy the Aebleskivers.
Here are some things that have been added to my essential holiday wish list, mostly suggestions from YOU!
– I use it for sauces even certain truffle mixes.
– for those of us who take pictures of all our food and don’t have hand models!