I’m sure you’ve all heard me say before that my husband is awesome. I don’t drive much, we only have one car so he stops for groceries after a long work day all the time. I sure wish they’d build a Whole Foods closer to home.
So to help out with the fruit and vegetable end we started to get a farm box delivered to our door. There are something’s things in it I don’t want or need and we have the ability to customize ours.
The last basket needed adjusting and Ken decided to add a Buddha’s Hand to it. He said it looked interesting and he went on the Smithsonian website and found a recipe for waffles.
First, I didn’t really know what it was. Second, I didn’t look at the waffle recipe and see that it used a minuscule amount of it. Third, I had no idea he paid $8 for this piece of fruit.
This is one crazy looking piece of fruit. Don’t peel it. Actually you can use the peel like lemon zest. That’s what the waffle recipe called for. The inside white part tastes just as good as the zest and it’s fairly firm and smooth. Not hard like an apple or pear but not soft either.
So Saturday morning came and he opened up the recipe and started discussing with me how it was different than the recipe he usually uses. It didn’t use the same steps and mixed up differently. Crazy me still didn’t pay attention to how much fruit it used.
As he’s mixing it up he says we should figure out what to do with the rest and saw that they candied it. I have never had much luck candying lemon peel or orange peel but this stuff is different.
He also said they make jam with it but I only had one so I wasn’t going to make jam.
So, on Monday morning I got out the recipe from David Lebovitz’s web page and proceeded to make candied Buddha’s Hand. This takes patience.
My first step of the recipe says to put it in a pan with water and barely simmer it for 30 to 40 minutes until translucent. So I put it in my Le Creuset saucepan got the heat going and then turned it down to the barely simmer. I set the time for 30 minutes and went off to mop some floors and clean the house.
At 30 minutes it was still as white as could be. I pushed the heat up a little and came back 10 minutes later. I repeated this process for about 3 hours, checking, inching the heat up until I was on a low boil and getting frustrated. This stuff would not turn translucent like David’s picture.
I even had to add more water in the end. I did not give up! Finally, it was translucent. Good thing I did not have to go anywhere and could keep myself busy with other things.
Now, I could proceed to the next step. Thank goodness I could put the candy thermometer in for this part. No guessing, just watch that it doesn’t get too hot and boil over.
When I finished I had a super thick gooey pile of Buddhas hand pieces that I dumped in the strainer to drain. I thought that would never happen and should have used one with a bigger mesh. But it drained out. I kept scraping the outside of the strainer with the spatula.
A few hours later I took this globby mess to toss in the sugar. Now I use organic sugar so it’s not white. I’ve gotten used to things I bake not looking like other items because my sugar is not all processed out. It also tastes better.
It coated way better than I expected and at 8 pm, nearly 12 hours after I started this I had it on the rack and in the empty, cold oven overnight to dry.
I place mine in the oven because I have cats. No matter how hard I try they think the counters belong to them and they would have taken off with these little bits and chased them all over the house.
I thought it tasted bitter at first but it has drained the way it should and the flavor is kind of addicting! Now if I can just quit munching on it I can make something with it. I packed it in a nice airtight container after drying to use in other recipes. I have to say I opened that container and nibbled all the time. I shared it with friends. It’s yummy.
Here’s my recipe for Candied Buddah’s Hand. I’ve only changed a few instructions, otherwise Thank you David Lebovitz for your great recipes, instructions and photos!
I’m thinking of adding it to my blueberry muffins or making a scone. Things I would use crystallized ginger in. I’ll add links to the recipes after I make them and write them up.