Just in time for Christmas! I took in the fennel stalks as frost hit to dry the fronds for fennel tea, but I kept some of the stems to try this lovely candy experiment! It tastes just like licorice, but it’s much prettier! The delicate leftover fennel syrup can be used on glazed pears or to create a glaze for leg of lamb!
- 1 lb fennel stems, thinly sliced (1/8 inch if you can get it – a mandoline would be perfect here, but I cheated this time)
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
Combine the fennel and sugar in a 2 quart saucepan, stir and let sit for 30 minutes. Add the water, and boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly until you have a very thick syrup.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the syrup coated fennel pieces into one or two LARGE baking dishes lined with aluminum foil, keeping a single layer. Bake at 250 degrees F. for 30 minutes, then check to see if the pieces need separation. Turn the oven to 200 degrees and bake 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20-30 minutes, after which the fennel should be well-crystallized and break easily away from the aluminum foil.
Keep covered in a cool dry place – it will store for about 4-6 weeks. The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 weeks.