Can you guess what this is? My latest find at the grocery store this morning – too cool and it made me smile 🙂 I just had to have one!
If you guessed lemon, you are right! It’s a lemon gone wild and is a member of the citron family. It has a sweet lemon aroma without juice or pulp. The pith is not bitter, so you can zest the fruit or use it whole.
What to do with this wonderfully intriguing fruit? The following information I found at thekitchn.com where the site provides a lot more detail.
1) the lack of bitterness makes this fruit perfect for making candied citrus peel (see below)
2) the complex aroma is great for making infused vodka (see below), limoncello (Buddhacello – I love it), or flavoring simple syrup
3) shave thin slices and add to a salad or garnish your freshly grilled fish – how about a salad dressing (see below for a recipe)
4) use the zest or a whole finger to make scented sugar and flavored salt – lovely gift for the holidays
5) how about a seasonal centerpiece or just a conversation starter
I will enjoy this unusual but actually beautiful fruit this weekend with friends. Then I shall play with it – see below as I have done just that 🙂
To use your Buddha’s Hand cut it in half, then cut off the individual fingers. The variety I bought was an “open-hand” type with outward splayed segments to a “closed-hand” type which the fingers are kept together
- 1/2 Buddha’s Hand
- 2 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
I made only half of the original recipe as I wanted to make a couple of things with this fragrant fruit. I prepared the fingers as mentioned above, leaving a lot of the pith as it is not bitter. I first boiled the fingers briefly to soften and then drained them. Then I combined all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cooked slowly until the fruit was translucent, about an hour. Watch towards the end of the cooking time as it could burn.
I decided to keep it in the syrup and refrigerated it for later use. You could finely chop them and add to cakes and cookies, breads – the possibilities are endless.
Infused Budda's Hand Citron Vodka
- good quality vodka
- lemon fingers, sliced
- pretty bottles
Fill your bottle with Buddha Hand fingers leaving some of the pith. Add your vodka and place in a cool, dark place for up to a month.
Buddha's Hand Salad Dressing
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt to taste – start with 1/4 tsp.
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. zest from Buddha’s Hand
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme or to taste
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Combine above ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Serve over your favorite salad ingredients. This is a light and refreshing salad, especially with the lemon.