Thursday, March 22, 2012

lemon gumdrops

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lemon gumdrops
via The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser

4 packets powdered gelatin
1/2 c. + 1/2 c. water
2 c. + 1/2 c. sugar
juice of 1 lemon
grated zest of 1 orange
3 drops yellow food colouring

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Set aside.

Mix the gelatin into 1/2 cup water in a bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium pot, stir 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of water together carefully. Bring it to a boil, stirring often. Use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to keep crystals from forming on the sides of the pot above the liquid. Once it boils, add the gelatin mixture and whisk in. (Don't worry if the gelatin is very clumpy; patient whisking will incorporate it into the sugar mixture.) Again bring it to a boil and stir often until it thickens, about 15 minutes.

Pour in the lemon juice and orange zest and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the food colouring. Pour it into the prepared dish. Chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Put the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Butter the tip of a large chef's knife and keep the butter handy to re-butter when necessary. Drag the knife tip through the lemon gel to make 1/2-inch squares. (Don't worry if you don't see the gumdrops pulling apart from each other at this point. They will once you're done cutting and you start pulling them up.) Butter a butter knife and work it along the edges of the pan.

Butter your fingers and pull a couple gumdrops up (possibly with the help of the butter knife at first). Pull them apart and coat them in the sugar. Repeat until you're all done.

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