Thursday, 16 April 2015

brightly coloured citrus slices & bonus citrus syrup

     so, i kinda love pinterest, but i kinda hate that so many pins out there lead to broken links, or wrong links or just photos when you think it is a tutorial or recipe, or you have to click through 40 different pages to get to the information you wanted from the original pin, or just plain old faulty information, or all that other stuff that makes pinterest kinda suck sometimes.  i still kinda love it anyway though.  to get to the point, a long time ago i had pinned this photo:

it leads to a party supply store & just says to soak lemon slices in food colouring & then freeze them to add to punch at your next party.  i thought they look kinda neat but it seems like a total photoshop image to me, still, i wondered if it would work, so it sat on one of my boards waiting for me to give it a shot.
      the other day i happened to have some lemons & a bunch of limes that were starting to need using up.. so, experiment time!!!

     i had a lemon, 3 or 4 little limes & i had some oranges so i decided to give it a shot with one of those too!  i did my best to slice them thinly & decided to try 3 colours, a blue, a turquoise-y green & a purple!  (though why i didn't choose to do a bright pink is beyond me, i had neon food colouring & the purple ended up being kinda a muddy colour.  oh well.)  so, photos!

     after an hour or so, they looked like this:

     i decided to put them in the fridge to soak overnight.  the next day when i came to check them out i discovered that the back of my fridge seems to be freezing things..

     anyway!  this is what they looked like the next day!

     the green ones were the ones were the ones that froze, which is why there is only a single green lime there.  the lemons all seemed to curl up while they soaked overnight.  the fruit and the pith are the only parts that took the colouring, none of the peels changed their original colours.

     these things had quite a bit of food colouring on them, my fingers were pretty colourful after working with them even though i was using a fork to help me scoop them out of the bowls, so i rinsed them off in water to get rid of all the excess dye.  (also i used some warm water to melt out those green ones)  here is what the final results looked like:

     i think the blue & green ones look kinda neat.  i should have chose a different colour for my third choice.  out of the three types of fruit i would have thought that the lemons worked the best, but i think the limes did.  after all this i put them on plates in the freezer to freeze & then transferred them to bags & will put them in drinks in the summer time, some iced tea or something.  overall it turned out better than i was expecting.

citrus syrup
      so.. i had to do something with the rest of the fruit!  i had a birthday party to go to the next day & was asked to bring some iced tea, so some syrup to sweeten it was in order!   i had the ends of all of them, about half a lemon, a quarter of an orange and about an additional lime and a half.  first thing to do, get all the zest from the left over bits and ends that i could.  this involves some sharp knife work because you dont really want to get the pith because that will make the syrup bitter.  i always have to remind myself to be careful when cutting odd shaped things because i end up doing stupid things like cutting towards myself & at odd angles, but maybe that's just me?  i also squeezed out all the juice i could out of the remaining bits and pieces.

     i poured the juice into a measuring cup and topped it off with water to bring it up to 2 cups.  i poured it into a sauce pan on the stove and turned it on to med heat and added 1.5 cups of sugar.  stir it up until it dissolves, then add the zest!

     continue cooking until it begins to boil & then let it simmer for, i dont know, 5 or 10 min.  you can taste it and see how citrus-y you like it.  the more juice & zest you have and the longer you let it boil the stronger the syrup will be.

     after this is done you need to strain it.  i poured mine into a measuring cup first to make this step easier, but if you use a larger pot then that step might not be needed.  strain the syrup into a jar, let it cool a bit, cap it and store it in the fridge.

if i was to make this again without just using scraps i would probably use the juice and zest of:
1 lime, 0.5 lemon, 0.5 orange, or well.. probably the whole lemon really!  maybe even more limes to make it kinda sweet & sour-y!
     by the way, it was really tasty in the strawberry fruit tea iced tea i made!