01 June 2013

Saturday Brunch: Extra Royal with Candied Lemon

This is a labor of love on a weekend morning--actually all brunch is, if I'm honest. Plus, it's a tasty way to celebrate being in love on a beautiful weekend!

1 lrg. Lemon or other citrus fruit
2 cups Water
4 cups superfine sugar
1/3 cup Creme de Cassis, plus 1 Tsp for dipping the glass
1/3 oz. strawberry or raspberry liqueur
4 oz. Champagne (Cava or Prosecco)
Wooden Skewers
Raspberries (optional)

For the  Rind: (do this a day in advance or more) Cut your lemon into 8 edges. Use a paring knife to cut all of the flesh and pith away from the rind. Cut the rind into thin strips, and place them in a small saucepan with the water, and 2 cups of sugar.

Simmer for 30-45 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool slightly.  Place the remaining sugar onto a dinner plate. Wrap each piece of rind around a wooden skewer to form the twist. Let the shape set by leaving the rind wrapped around skewers for a few minutes. Remove the rind and bury each twist in the sugar on the dinner plate for at least 5 hours. The sugar will pull excess moisture from the rinds. When you remove them tap off excess sugar crystals and set aside the plate of sugar for dipping the glasses. You can use the candied rinds for up to 6 months (keep refrigerated in an airtight container).

For the Drink: Prepare another small plate with the tsp of cassis liqueur. Dip the rim of a champagne flute into the cassis, let it drip a bit and then dip the rim into the left over sugar on your dinner plate.

In a pitcher, mix the two liqueurs with some ice, then strain it into the champagne flute. Add champagne, then garnish with a candied lemon peel or fresh fruit