Angelica may be familiar as the acid-green crystallised or candied strips used as a decoration on cakes and desserts, but angelica itself is a herb. It is known as ‘herb of the angels’ (hence the name) because it was believed to have medicinal properties. It’s a member of the parsley family, a tall plant with a long firm stem and bright green leaves. Candied angelica is made by boiling the stems in sugar syrup. If you can find the fresh herb (almost impossible) the stems can be cooked with rhubarb or apple for pies or crumbles. They’re also used in jams and preserves, and the leaves go well with fish or in salads.
- 700gms stevia (granulated)
- 900g cooked angelica stems
- 425ml water
- Rind and juice of a lemon
- Choose young tender stems from two-year-old plants. Remove all leaves then cut into lengths that will fit your pan. Fill the pan with water, bring to the boil, add the stems, return to the boil, then lower to simmer. Cook until the stems are tender, approx 25-45 mins depending on the thickness of the stems.
- Strain. Refill the pan with fresh cold water and leave the stems to soak overnight (12 hours). Strain and throw the water away.
- You may find that if you have used mature stems that they need to be peeled. If that is the case do so now. Then weigh the stems. For every 900g of angelica stems you will need 700g of stevia granulated sweetner
- Cut the cooked stems into bite-size pieces, add them to a large saucepan. I use a preserving pan which is a very worth while investment especially if you are often making chutneys, jams and jellies.
- Add the water and the stevia. Over a very low heat, stir constantly until the stevia is dissolved, then add the lemon juice and rind. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until setting point is reached.
- To tell when setting point has been reached either use a thermometer the setting point being 200°F/110°C or put a little jam on a chilled saucer, as it cools the jam should begin to set. It will wrinkle slightly when you draw your finger across it.
- Cool slightly before pouring into warm, sterilised jars, cover and seal immediately.