Edible Holiday Gift Idea: Candied “Buddha’s Hand” Citron

Welcome to our annual homemade edible gift episode, where you finally figure out what to get that “special” (aka super-picky and has everything) foodie on your holiday list. By the way, if you’re a fan of candied citrus, you ‘ll want to make extra, since Buddha’s Hand is a unique and special treat.

To me this crazy looking fruit tastes/smells like a really fragrant Meyer lemon with hints of grapefruit, and if you can find it, I recommend you give it a go. It’s not cheap, but what is? If you can’t find it, don’t despair; this technique works perfectly fine with strips of orange or lemon peel.

Regarding the blanching step I mention in the video; I heard that pre-boiling wasn’t necessary for this fragrant fruit, as it’s not as bitter as other types of citrus, so I tested it both ways, and I’m glad I did.

The batch I boiled in water first had virtually no bitterness left, and still had a fairly strong citrus flavor. The batch that was candied raw definitely had a more fragrant aroma and vibrant taste, but unfortunately there was a distinct bitter aftertaste.

So, I recommend the boiling step, especially if you’re going to be making this primarily as a candy. If you were going to be cooking with it, in things like fruitcakes, then you could probably get away with the bigger flavor, and slight bitter edge.

Either way, I hope you can get your hands on some of these hands, and give this fun, and easy to make holiday confection a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 2 cups of candied citron:
(warning, I didn’t measure very carefully, but that doesn’t matter here. As long as you have enough simple syrup to cook your citrus in, you are fine)
3 cups cubed Buddha’s Hand citron, washed thoroughly, or other citrus peel, sliced into 1/4-inch strips (simmer in plain water for 20-30 minutes before candying step)
2 1/2 cups sugar (plus extra for tossing the candied fruit in)
2 cups water
- cook on medium heat, stirring, until the syrup reaches 230F.