First of all, to avoid any confusion, this recipe uses lemons not limes. That’s right, “lima” in Spanish means “lemon” in English. Confusing, right? Anyway, to prepare this traditional Latin American treat, Nibble Chef Sandra Suarez suggests using organic lemons. If you are using regular lemons, be sure to clean the skin well. One thing we love about this recipe is that it highlights the often overlooked pith of the lemon. Growing up, Sandra learned how to use all parts of the lemon! Be sure to save the lemon juice and zest for other uses.
10 lemons (organic, if possible)
8 cups water
3 cups sugar (organic, if possible)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons cloves
Did you know? The peel of a citrus fruit contains two top layers
- The zest is the outermost part of the rind. The zest is shiny, brightly colored, and textured.
- The pith is the inner white, fibrous membrane directly below the zest; it helps to protect the fruit inside.
1. Clean and wash the lemons.
2. Use a grater to remove the zest (save it for other uses). Then carve the pith off the rest of the lemons and cut them in strips.
3. In a saucepan, combine the lemon strips with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then drain them in a colander.
4. Repeat this process three or four times, then remove the strips from the pan and set aside.
5. Heat the granulated sugar in medium size saucepan over medium heat. Stir periodically (this is the hardest part, make sure you don’t burn the sugar). Sugar will start to clump and then melt into a light amber color liquid. You can add water, a couple of tablespoons are enough. Stir with a whisk while the water heats, until all the sugar is dissolved.
6. Add the lemon strips, the rest the water (eight cups), the cinnamon and the cloves.
7. Reduce heat to low. Let the strips simmer for 45 min. to 1hr, stirring every 15 minutes. The strips are ready when they’re easy to bite through.
8. Left to cool at room temperature, and before serving take out the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Nibble Chef Sandra is from Bolivia, where this kind of candied fruit is common, including orange, grapefruit, and guava. Her grandmother Regina taught her the recipe when she was six years old.
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