Esrogim have a beautiful flavor and aroma, and the fruit lends itself quite well to a candied esrog preparation since they’re mostly made up of rind and pith. Keep the candied esrog for yourself, or make them as gifts for friends and family so that they can celebrate the fruits of Sukkot long after the chag!
First, gather your esrogim. Most people don’t know what to do with their esrog after Sukkot, so you should be able to collect quite a few from friends, family and your congregation. You can scale the recipe up or down depending on how many esrogim you collect. It’s easiest to work in small batches, though—probably no more than 4 or 5 esrogim at one time.
- 4-5 esrogim, rinsed well
- 3 cups granulated sugar, plus ~1 cup for coating the finished pieces (don’t use super-fine, powdered, or caster sugar; you’ll want the larger granules for this)
- 2 cups water, plus additional for blanching the esrog pieces
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup (optional: it will keep the finished candied fruit moister and prevent crystallization, but is not absolutely necessary)
1. Trim the rind from the esrogim, retaining some of the white pith. Discard the fruity/pulpy center of the esrog. Cut the rind into ~1/2″ cubes.
2. Place the chopped rind in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of water so it won’t boil away while blanching. Blanch the esrog pieces in slowly simmering water for 30-40 minutes, or until the white pith becomes translucent.
3. Drain the esrog pieces and return to the pan. Add 2 cups water, 3 cups sugar, and 1 tbsp corn syrup (if using).
4. Cook the esrog and syrup mixture until it reaches 230ºF. If you have a candy thermometer you can attach it to the side of the pot; otherwise use an instant-read thermometer to periodically check the temperature of the mixture. Stir the mixture from time to time, especially towards the end of the cooking process, to prevent pieces from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
5. Remove from heat and let the esrog pieces sit in the syrup mixture for an hour.
6. Transfer the esrog pieces to a strainer set over a bowl, and let the syrup drain from the candied fruit pieces for 20-30 minutes. If the syrup mixture is too thick to flow through the strainer you can briefly re-heat it in the pan to make it liquid again, and/or even add a tiny bit of water back to the mixture so it’s more fluid. Save the syrup mixture that you drain from the candied esrog pieces! It can be used as an esrog-flavored simple syrup for delicious cocktails, or if you have a soda machine or whipping siphon you can make some super-tasty esrog soda.
7. Once the syrup has drained from the fruit pieces, toss them in a bowl of sugar (~1 cup) to coat evenly.
8. Remove the excess sugar from your candied esrog with a slotted spoon (or just your hands), lay them out on a baking sheet or plate, and let dry for 24 hours.
9. Store the candied esrog in a jar or other air-tight container. It should keep for a few weeks at room temperature, or a few months in the refrigerator. Enjoy!