Monday, 8 April 2013

Lemon Fudge

I love fudge.  Absolutely love it.  Have done since I was 13 and visiting the Cornish village of Padstow during a school trip.  There were so many places selling the stuff and it was amazing.  However I've only really had the traditional kinds like vanilla and chocolate.  Then back in 2011 my fiancé took me to the Highland Games they hold in the local park and there we happened across a fudge stall selling all sorts of flavours.  We bought a box of four types: Malteser; Irish cream (which I didn't realise was a liqueur at the time); citrus (three stripes flavoured with lemon, orange and lime) and...I cannot remember the fourth kind.  I remember wishing I'd taken some of the strawberries and cream fudge.  It did look rather fantastic.  Anyway, the point I'm trying to get to is that the citrus fudge was flat out wonderful and so very different from anything I'd had before.  The fiancé also really enjoyed it and he's not really a fudge person.  Next year couldn't come fast enough and we eagerly went along to the games with the sole purpose of procuring more fudge.  Imagine our disappointment when we could not find the stall anywhere.  It was quite devastating.  Luckily there were cute owls to cheer us up.

I feel I'm digressing slightly.  Back to today's fudge.  Now as much as I love the stuff, I've only ever attempted to make fudge once before, back when I was at university.  Proper fudge where you have to cook the sugar to a certain temperature and all that.  It wasn't very successful.  I couldn't really tell if I had the right temperature since I didn't have a sugar thermometer at the time.  I did try the soft ball test but honestly had no idea if the results I got were the ones I was meant to get.  The result was a sticky goop that would not set.  The fiancé on the other hand has made it at least once a year for four years now, improving each year but still not quite getting fudge at the end.  And as much as I would like to perfect the proper method one day, sometimes it's nice when you stumble across a recipe which is a bit of a cheat but still gives a great end product.

I love this recipe.  It was so quick and simple and after it had set the fudge I ended up with was fantastic.  I admit when I first found it I wasn't sure if I would be able to find a lemon pudding mix and so was all set to try and make my own from scratch.  However I did find a pack when grocery shopping and it was so inexpensive that I thought I would just go that route.  I would like to try the completely from scratch method one day though.  

I got 64 pieces of fudge from this recipe.  It is really delicious and has almost the right fudge-like texture.  It's maybe just a little bit soft but it is so very lemony that I don't really mind.  Maybe it'll firm up a little more over time.  The fiancé loves it too and keeps going back for 'just one more'. An all around success really and definitely one for the recipe folder.

Recipe - adapted from Group Recipes
  • 115g/4oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 120g/4.3oz lemon pudding/pie mix (I used Green's Lemon Pie Filling)
  • 125ml/4.5fl.oz milk
  • 535g/19oz icing sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  1. Line a 23cm/9inch square tin with foil and then grease the foil with butter.
  2. Put the butter, milk and pudding/pie mix into a large saucepan and whisk over a gentle-medium heat until the mixture has thickened and is smooth.  Do not allow it to overheat or it will turn into a lumpy mush you can't do anything with.
  3. Take off the heat and add the lemon extract and icing sugar.  Whisk together until smooth.
  4. Pour out into the prepared tin and smooth over.
  5. Put in the fridge to set.  This will take about 2-3 hours.
  6. Once set, remove from fridge and separate from the tin by lifting it out by the foil.
  7. Remove the foil and then cut into cubes.  I cut an 8x8 grid so got 64 pieces.
  8. Roll pieces in icing sugar and store in an airtight container in the fridge.   

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