Dragee and Spices in Confit
This recipe has been condensed by the authors as being extremely long and convoluted. Here is their shortened version.
To clarifie suger, and to mak anneys in counfite, which directs us to make caraway, coriander, fennel and ginger into confit the same way…
1 cup sugar ½ cup water 6 oz anise seeds
Combine sugar and water in a heavy pan for 5 minutes, add seeds and stir until the syrup begins to look white; set aside for 10 minutes. Then put back over low heat, preferably over a protective mat or heat diffuser, and stir until the sugar coating softens enough to be poured. Pour onto a cookie sheet or a piece of clean screening over a cake rack. Spread the seeds out with a paring knife separate them as much as possible; as they harden…
1 C sugar ½ C water Dried fruit and nuts
I wanted to try this with dried fruits and nuts as seeds are very very tiny and take copious amounts of time. I choice apricots, plums, and figs as these were all available in period and very tasty. I also did a round of fennel seeds just to see what would happen.
I did the almonds and the figs first. I added the sugar and water together then boiled.
Once the sugar water started to boil I added the almonds and figs.
The mixture was allowed to boil then cooled. This gives a glazing to the fruit and nuts where the sugar crystals actually coat and stay on the items. By the third glazing period you can tell a very nice glossy sheen from the sugar, which has started to adhere.
Once the mixture had complete cooled, I heated up the pot with the items again. I did this 5 times. The 5th time I heated up the sugar water mixture most of the water had evaporated turning the sugar into a coating that clung to the fruit and nuts.
These two were my favorite. The figs taste like Christmas candy while the almonds are just tasty!
The plums and apricots did not do so well. The plums were cooked to a jam and the sugar coating did not stick to the apricots. That was an interesting lesson to learn!
The anise seeds I added 2 cups to the 1.5 cups of sugar water. This was a mistake. The surface volume of the 2 cups of anise seeds exceeded the sugar water coating ability. I added another .5 C of sugar and .25 C of water. It should have been 1 full cup of sugar and .5 cup of water instead.
While the anise seeds did come out sugar coated I believe that they could have been better had more sugar water been available at the start.
I may at some point go back and re-try the dried apricots; however for now I am busy munching my way through the figs and almonds!