Monday, January 21, 2013

French Confit

Happy New Year! I know it's almost February but I only waited three months to post.  I have "almost" kept up with my blog and one of my new year resolutions to post more entries onto my blog this year.  I have to start somewhere and here it is.  I became very intrigued with the French practice to confit clementines when my brother found a picture of one that is sold in a Paris bakery and immediately sent me the link.  If you have seen this blog you will see a previous post of candied sour orange pith from a family recipe.  Really good and interesting because I've never seen it anywhere else.  Then my brother finds this and sends it to me so I simply had to try it.  It is just as complicated as my family recipe except that it takes about 2 weeks to complete.

I started the clementine confit around mid-December and knew it would only be complete around the first week or so, of January.  Here it is!  It was a success and I must say I had to wing it as I could not find many recipes for French clementine confit.  I found one, in French and about 2 more with very vague instructions.  So here I go.  It is very easy to find clementines at this time of year and I found a nice big box at the grocery store.

First, the clementines must be pricked by a long needle to ensure that the boiling liquids get inside the fruit thoroughly.  I didn't have one so I used a thin knife.  First you boil the clementines in plain water to soften them up.  I don't know how long this took or how much water I used, I simply covered them and boiled them till my kitchen smelled orange-y.  Then you add sugar and some corn syrup to prevent the sugar from crystalizing.

As soon as the syrup comes to a boil, remove from the heat immediately.  Pour the syrup and the clementines into a large bowl and cover.  Leave the clementines in this syrup and soak for 2 days.  Remove the clementines and add the syrup into a pot, add about half cup of sugar and bring the syrup to a rolling boil.  Pour the boiling syrup over the clementines and soak again.  Repeat this step, every 2 days for 14 days.  I had to do this for a few more days because, my guess, is that I didn't boil the clementines long enough in the first boil without the sugar.  And here they are:
They become translucent and candied all the way through.  They should remain in the syrup and become candied as the clementine would otherwise be much to bitter to consume.  It is uber sweet but very delicious.  The one my brother sent me is covered in dark chocolate and looks a little drier than mine.  I think I should have pricked them with pins instead of a knife, however, it was pretty fantastic for just winging this recipe.  If anyone should come upon this please let me know how you are doing and how you did it.  I want to try again!

It's a holiday today and won't have another for a few months.  I want to make entries to my blog a little more often than once a month so let's see what else I can come up with.


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