This was inspired by a twitter comment that Clotilde from Chocolate & Zuccini recently. The French, like the Italians, have a history of creating and eating candied fruits in a way that the Brits seems to have missed. Yes, we have glacé cherries and chopped mixed peel but that is about it. In France in the run up to Christmas you will find platters of individually candied fruits - figs, mandarin oranges, melons, pears and pineapple as well as chestnuts, greengage plums, peaches, apricots and clementines. Beautifully presented, glowing translucent fruits.
The link Clotilde gave is to a company called La Fabrique de Douceur here. Their chillies, along with the other fresh fruits they make are lucious and beautiful to look at but I think they are only available in France.Reading through their website reminded me that I have quite a few chillies at home which I can't eat due to allergies. Rather than simply throw them away I thought I would have a go at candying them, just to see what would happen. So here is a simplified version of candied chillies. The sweet and spicy syrup would make a delicious drizzle over ice cream or a fruity tart, whilst the chillies themselves could be used in biscuits or ice cream, or served as they come with cheese.
As you can see this quick version gives you the flavour but not the texture of french-style candied fruit.
These are very quick and easy to prepare and if you have any chilli-heads as friends, they would make great easy foodie presents too.
Candied Chillies in sweet chilli syrup
- 8-12 fresh mild to medium red chillies
- 450g white sugar
- 450ml water
- boiling water
- sterilised jar & lid big enough to contain the chillies
- pour about 1L freshly boiled water into pan and add the chillies.
- bring the pan to the boil and blanch the chillies for 1 minute.
- drain the chillies and refresh in cold water.
- add the equal volumes of sugar and water to the pan and bring to the boil
- add the chillies and cook at a gently boil for 30-40 minutes.
- during this cooking, sterilise the jar in the oven or in boiling water for 15 minutes.
- when the chillies are cooked, lift them out gently and place in the jar
- pour the syrup over and screw the lid on
- allow the jar to cool before storing in the fridge.