It's time for a little food porn.
Chocolate mousse with its crème anglaise and confit de cédrat.
Ok, so this dessert I'm bragging on isn't entirely homemade. Actually, it's mostly store-bought. I'm using the soft lighting and artificial glow that Picasa have provided me to (almost) hide the traces of the plastic mold that this chocolate dessert came in. (Welcome to the Semi-homemade with Sandra Lee episode of Mas de Bonheur!)
What you should really be looking at, though, is what's on top of the purchased chocolate dessert and crème anglaise. That's homemade confit de cédrat, or citron marmalade.
Last year in Grasse, we saw a citron tree, but I had never seen a fully ripe citron, until James brought this one home from the market.
They're all weird and knobby on the outside, and pithy on the inside.
So what to make?
The tarte lady's fiadone seemed like too much of a challenge. And, besides, we also wanted to see what the citron was like on its own. So candied citron it was ... until I cooked it a little longer than I had planned to and it became citron marmalade.
Juice the citron and set aside what little juice there is for later. The juice is pretty intense. It was a little like *really* acidic grapefruit juice ... or something that's gross and would make you stay away from citrons. (And you shouldn't do that, because the end result is really tasty.)
Using a sharp knife, remove the outside of the peel in long strips. Cut the swaths of peel lengthwise into narrow strips. Try to resist rubbing the zest all over yourself and save it for the marmalade. (It really does smell that good.) You should also resist eating the rind because in its unprepared form, it doesn't taste as good as it smells.
Actually, there isn't much point in giving a recipe here, because there isn't really one to give. It sort of makes itself.
But in case you're actually reading down to the bottom, basically, you make some candied citrus peel, but with a little less water than you might use if you wanted a syrup. I used something like a little teacup full of sugar to two teacups of water (a scant 1/2 c. to scant 1 c.?). Stir the sugar into water over low heat until it dissolves, then add the citron peel and simmer while your dinner finishes baking (20mn?) and then cools enough that you can eat it.
Then add the juice and let it simmer until you're ready for seconds, or until what's in the pot looks like marmalade. Remove from heat.
It smells unbelievable while it's simmering. Just stick your nose over the peel and it's like the best lem-apefr-ange you've ever smelled, with a little something different and special that isn't entirely unlike something that's in molasses.
It's good on bread or brioche, and especially good with chocolate in both its homemade and not-so-homemade incarnations.