Saint of the day:
Saint David the Dendrite
Patron Saint of tree houses!
Saint David the Dendrite's Story
David the Dendrite (c. 450–540), also known as David the tree-dweller and David of Thessalonika, is a patron saint of Thessaloniki. David became a monk at the Monastery of Saints Merkourios and Theodore outside Thessaloniki. Famed for his sound advice, he was hounded by crowds seeking words of wisdom and prayer. Wishing a quiet, contemplative life, David fled to the seclusion of an almond tree, where he lived for three years. He left the tree to petition the Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great in Constantinople to send soldiers to defend Thessaloniki from attack. David died in 540 as his ship was en route to Macedonia.
Saint David’s Church, Thessaloniki
Latomos Monastery - Holy Church of Hosios David
Epimenidou 17, Thessaloniki 546 33, Thessaloniki, Greece
Our saint was from an area that loved this little fruit! Can't you just see him picking one while sitting in his tree?
Today's treat is celebrates the bright orange kumquats that give these gorgeous gummies their all-natural sunny glow and a puckery, sweet-and-sour flavor. To play up the tartness, a citric acid coating adds a burst of sour flavor and a craveable quality. Kung Fu Girl Riesling has notes of white peach, mandarin orange, and apricot that balance the tang. Want to gift these? The sugar-citric acid coating helps keep these gummies from sticking together when packaged in cellophane bags; pop in a silica gel packet to absorb moisture and keep your candy structurally sound and looking beautiful. Find them at amazon.com.
4 ounces fresh kumquats (about 3/4 cup), quartered lengthwise and seeded
2/3 cup cold water, divided
3/4 cup (6 ounces) dry Riesling
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon citric acid, divided
3 (1/4-ounce) package unflavored gelatin
Grapeseed oil, as needed
Place kumquats and enough water to cover by 1/2 inch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Remove from heat; drain. Repeat blanching process; drain well. Process drained kumquats and 1/3 cup cold water in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Using the back of a spoon, press mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids. Set puree aside.
Combine Riesling, 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon citric acid in a small saucepan. Cook over medium, swirling pan occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 260°F (hard-ball stage), 15 to 25 minutes. Stir in kumquat puree (temperature will drop). Cook, stirring constantly, until thermometer registers 240°F, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 200°F, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together gelatin and remaining 1/3 cup cold water in a small bowl. Set aside to bloom, about 5 minutes.
Remove candy thermometer, and gently stir gelatin mixture into warm syrup until gelatin is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on surface. Place a 140-cavity half-sphere or semi-sphere (about 3/4-inch cavity) silicone candy mold on a large rimmed baking sheet. Carefully spoon 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mixture into each cavity. Alternatively, pour mixture into a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Chill mold on baking sheet, uncovered, until candies are set, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Remove gummies from mold, and place on a wire rack. (If using a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan, use a sharp knife to cut gummies into uniform squares.) Let stand at room temperature in a cool, dark place, uncovered, until gummies are no longer sticky and have dehydrated to desired degree of chewiness, 1 to 3 days. If gummies reach desired chewiness but are still slightly sticky, toss batches of 6 gummies with a few drops of grapeseed oil to coat. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
Just before serving, stir together remaining 1/4 cup sugar and remaining 3/4 teaspoon citric acid in a small bowl. Dip bottom of each gummy in sugar mixture. Sugared gummies can be held at room temperature up to 4 hours.