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Candied Angelica

Candied Angelica Stems
Cut the shoots into strips about 6" long and 1/2" wide, and remove untidy bits. Blanch them (i.e. bring them to the boil and throw away the water). Then candy them, using gradually increasing strengths of sugar syrup. When they are done, dry them and keep them, but don't throw away the syrup; it keeps for at least a year in the refrigerator and for a long time just in a jar.

They can be used for decoration, in fruit salad, in ice cream and so on.

The syrup can be used for sweetening such things, and adds a strong angelica taste. I recommend angelica ice cream, made with the chopped stems, syrup and Chartreuse (an angelica-based liqueur).

The young leaves and stems are also naturally sweet, and can be used in stewed fruits or other puddings, or used in potpourris.

Home Candied Angelica
1 lb Angelica
1 lb Granulated sugar

The most important thing about candying angelica is to choose stalks that are young and tender. In other words, angelica is only worth candying in April or May when the shoots are new and softly colored. Trim the young shoots into 3-4 inch lengths, put them into a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Drain and scrape away tough skin and fibrous threads with a potato peeler, rather as you might prepare celery. Return the angelica to the pan, pour on fresh boiling water and cook until green and tender. If the shoots are as youthful as they should be, this will take 5 minutes or less. Drain the stalks and dry them. Put them into a bowl and sprinkle granulated sugar between layers, allowing 1 pound of sugar for every 1 pound of angelica.

Cover and leave for 2 to 3 days.

Slide contents of the bowl into a heavy-based pan. Bring very slowly to the boil and simmer until the angelica feels perfectly tender and looks clear. Drain, then roll or toss the shoots on greaseproof paper thickly strewn with sugar, letting the angelica take up as much sugar as will stick to it. Then dry off the angelica - without letting it become hard - in the oven, using the lowest possible temperature. I place the stalks directly on the oven shelves (with trays underneath to catch any falling sugar) and find they need about 3 hours. Wrap and store after cooling completely. Packed into pretty little boxes, home-candied angelica makes a charming present.

Horehound Candy
3/4 square inch pressed horehound
2 cups boiling water
3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pour boiling water over horehound which has been separated in pieces; let stand one minute, then strain through double cheese-cloth. Put into a granite kettle with remaining ingredients, and boil until, when tried in cold water, mixture will become brittle. Turn into a buttered pan, cool slightly, then mark in small squares. Small square packages of horehound may be bought for five cents.


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