Buddha's Hand Citron

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The Buddha’s hand citron is quite possibly the strangest-looking piece of fruit I’ve ever seen. I came across them at Whole Foods recently, for about $7 each. Of course I had to buy it because it was so cool looking, but then realized I had no idea what to do with it!

Buddha's hand citron

Buddha's hand citron

After some searching online, I decided to make candied buddha’s hand citron and a “buddhacello” variant of the Italian lemon liqueur limoncello.  (Links take you to the recipes I used).

Having never candied anything before, I thought I’d start with the buddhacello. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of grated buddhacello. I sliced off just four fingers which was the right amount. Once cut, the fruit is very fragrant. It smells like lemons, except perhaps more floral. The whole fruit is edible, even the white part. Unlike regular lemons, the white part is not bitter.

Grating the Buddha's hand

Grating the Buddha's hand

I happened to have a nearly full bottle of vodka sitting around, so in went the grated Buddha’s hand, and then into the closet to sit for two weeks.

Buddhacello in the making

Buddhacello in the making

After two weeks, simple syrup (sugar and water is added) and then it sits for another two weeks. I just did this step tonight but didn’t get any pictures. I’ll post back in two weeks once I sample the final product!

On to the candied Buddha’s hand. I sliced up the remaining fruit into small slivers, then cooked them in sugar and water for nearly two hours.

Cooking in sugar syrup

Cooking in sugar syrup

After the sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees F, the pieces are spread out on a tray with extra-fine sugar, and then coated with more extra-fine sugar to coat. (I didn’t have extra-fine sugar, but you can just whirl regular white sugar in a food processor to make it finer). After the peels cool, they’re ready to eat. They are delicious! Very intense lemon flavor, but also very sweet and a little bit crunchy from the sugar. One Buddha’s hand fruit made a pretty large quantity.

Tray of sugar awaits

Tray of sugar awaits

Candied Buddha's Hand Citron!

Candied Buddha's Hand Citron!

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1 Comment

  1. Derik A Badman January 18, 2009

    I saw those things at Whole Foods the other week and wondered about them. If that is Buddha’s hand, then Buddha must look a lot like some kind of Lovecraftian monster.

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