Best place to buy...
- foodgrrl Dec 4, 2003 01:19 PM
I'm just getting into Christmas baking and need to find a place for Stollen ingredients (don't mean the blackmarket kind)- in particular, I need good candied fruit...I shop downtown, where have you tried?
If anyone is is at the market can you please check if the candy store sells British flakie's (actually can't remember if they're called flakes). I have a triffle I want to jazz up and chocolate flakes are good.
As a tip to other British chocolate enthusiasts in downtown core, the tobacco shop in the Atrium on Bay is selling British chocolate. Specifically, gift packs of 8 to 20 or so mixed British bars. Expensive though, I think the 8 pack is $12 hence my market request. I used to get one of those mixed packs all crushed up from the post sent from my great aunt in Wales every Christmas as a kid.
I don't think they have good old-fashioned citron, but Johnvince Foods (910 St. Clair W.) has most of usual Technicolor fruits. They're probably better at unconventional Christmas baking ingredients such as dates, dried papaya and cranberry, and candied ginger. Their shelled nut selection is also strong. Can't vouch for their powdered soup bases.
You mean you want candied fruit that doesn't list RUTABAGA as the first ingredient? Shocking!
No wonder nobody likes the stuff with the artificial versions we are supposed to be happy with. Let me know if you find any...
Buying candied fruit is always an adventure; you never know how long it's been sitting on the shelf. You might want to try making your own. With only three ingredients, it can't get much simpler. A couple of pots can be left on the stove overnight, just requiring a quick heat through the next day. The added advantage of this method is that you can have bowls of these colourful garnishes available for people to add to their baked goods, ensuring everyone knows that you made your own (although they don't have to know that it could be done by a trained monkey). I included a recipe for candied flowers that also make a great garnish. They are available in Loblaws, or a search on the internet will give you a list of hundreds of edible varieties.
Candied Apricots (Peaches, apples, prunes, figs, quinces, citron, plums, cherries) : Combine 6oz apricots and 1.25 cups water. Heat to boiling and simmer 5 minutes. Cool. Drain and measure 1 cup liquid from apricots (add water, if necessary, to make this amount), into a 9" skillet. Add 1-cup sugar and 0.25 cups brandy, and heat to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add drained apricots, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow to stand several hours or overnight. Add remaining 1/2-cup sugar, and boil slowly 5 minutes. Let stand as
before. Cook twice more for 5 minutes each time, allowing apricots to stand in the syrup for several hours or overnight between each cooking. Cool in syrup,
then drain well. Arrange apricots on a wire cake rack and set over a shallow pan, to drain and dry. To make fruit less sticky, place in an oven with a pilot light for 24 hours, or heat oven and then place in oven to dry. Coat with sugar.
Candied Citrus : Peel two grapefruits or three oranges, citrons, or lemons. Scrape the bitter white pith from the peels and discard. Cut the peel into narrow strips and simmer the strips in boiling water until they're tender, then drain off the water from the saucepan. In a separate saucepan, prepare a sugar syrup by combining one cup each of granulated sugar and water, and simmering until the sugar is dissolved. Add enough syrup to the peels so that they are completely covered, and then simmer the mixture until the peels are translucent. Drain, cool, and store in the refrigerator.
Candied Ginger : Bring to a boil 1 1/3 C sugar + 1 C water, add 1 C peeled and chopped ginger pieces, and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and dry, then sprinkle with sugar.
Candied Flowers : Use clean, dry, edible, pesticide-free flowers. With a fork, beat together egg white from one egg and a teaspoon of water. Using a brush, paint the petals with the egg white, then set them on a plate covered with superfine sugar. Sprinkle some of the sugar on top of the petals and shake off the excess. Lay the petals on waxed paper and allow them to dry overnight.