It’s always a bit amusing to come across ginormous citron at my suki Mary’s vegetable stall at the FTI market on Saturdays. It happens a couple of times a year, and other shoppers almost inevitably express amazement at the “giant lemons” and buy them probably probably thinking they will yield proportionately more lemon juice. Mary asks me every year what they are called, and I keep explaining that citron aren’t quite just large lemons. In fact, they have nary any juice at all and a really thick pulp. She can’t seem to fathom what they would be any good for… So the last time I spotted them in her stall, she gave me several of them for free as “padagdag” for all the shopping I do with her. She says they rarely sell out.
Back at home, I reviewed old posts on citron here and here, and decided to make a batch of candied citron for future baking use. I used this simple and wonderful recipe from David Leibovitz and ended up with a jar of citron in syrup, and several cups of candied citron (without a final dry sugar coating) for baking. Lots of leftover syrup as well.
Cut the peel into roughly 1/3 to 1/2 inch cubes and place in a heavy pot. Cover with water and bring to a simmer and keep it at simmer for roughly 40 minutes. Drain that and add a mixture of white granulated sugar and water and let that simmer until done. You can drain some of the citron and roll it in sugar or just keep the citron plain. You can also store it in jars covered in syrup.
There was quite a bit of citron syrup left over and I was intrigued by Mr. Leibovitz suggestion to use it in a refreshing, sparking water and citron syrup beverage. In a nice large glass, add some of the syrup, lots of ice and in this case, a small can of Perrier sparkling water.
It WAS refreshing but perhaps I should have added a bit more citron syrup to get the full impact of flavor and sweetness. As for the candied citron, I used some of it in a mostly flourless cake that turned out rather nicely a few days later.