Bergamots (Citrus aurantium) can be found in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and other Mediterranean countries. Bergamot originated in Asia and is a small tree with long, oval green leaves with white flowers, which blossom during the spring. The bergamot bears a small fruit which matures early January and is about the size of an orange but it’s shape is between an orange and a big lemon and it’s colour looks more like an orange.

The fruit is not edible but an essential oil is extracted from the aromatic peel of this sour fruit and is used to flavour confectionery.  We also make marmalade with its peel as well as liqueur.   Your can also use its zest in cakes and cookies.  The spoon sweet (preserve) is ideal for eating it as it is or on top of tarts or creams.  When the spoon sweet is eaten the leftover syrup is ideal for wetting sponges, or lady fingers, to use as a base for desserts.

I did not want the bergamot zest to be wasted so some of it was placed in ice cubes and freezed to be used in cakes and the remaining was used to make a bergamot liqueur.

You can follow the same procedure as for the orange liqueur I made recently.

To make citrus spoon sweets such as bergamots, oranges, bitter oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, kumquats or tangerines, the bitterness must first be removed, before proceeding to the actual preserving. If you like them to have some bitterness skip one day.  Tangerines and kumquats are made using the entire fruit provided they are seedless and pierced with a skewer in a couple of spots after scrubbing.

Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot spoon sweet)

Preparation time: See below

Cooking time: See below

Makes: 21

Ingredients:

  • 7 bergamots (about 1200 grams – 2.65 lbs peels)
  • *Sugar: weigh the peels and place the same amount of sugar
  • 1 lemon, only the juice
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • ½ cup lemon juice, divided

*Sugar:  In order to make spoon sweets the ratio is roughly 1 – 1 fruit to sugar. This is adjusted and less sugar is added if fruit is naturally sweet. In this case we are only using the peels, so they are weighed when they are ready to be used.

Directions:

  1. Wash the bergamots, wipe them and using a fine kitchen grater, grate until the rind becomes bright yellow. Once you have scrubbed all the bergamots, cut a small piece off the top and the bottom and with a sharp knife score the peel into three or four equal sections, depending on the size. Using the tip of the knife, gently remove the skin and discard the inner part as it is not edible. From the skin you must now remove as much white pith from the bergamot peels as possible. Now is when you weigh the fruit and use the same amount of sugar.
  2. Thread a large sewing needle and make a knot at the end. Take each peel and roll it as tight as you can. Pass the needle through and thread each piece. An easier way to hold each rolled peel together, is with a toothpick for each piece.
  3. Place them in a big saucepan and cover them with water. As they will float put a plate on top of them to keep them submerged. Bring to boiling point only for 2 – 3 minutes and turn off the heat.
  4. Next day, empty water and add fresh water. Boil again for 2 – 3 minutes. Repeat this procedure for three more days. On the last day after the boiling procedure, immediately empty hot water, add fresh cold water and half of the lemon juice. Put them back again on the heat and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave them in the hot water until it becomes cold.  Drain them and remove the thread or toothpicks, carefully.
  5. Put them back into the pot again and add the sugar and the water. Leave it until the sugar dissolves and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and boil for fifteen minutes. Remove from heat and leave it until the following day. The last day place them again on the heat, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover with the lid slightly ajar. Simmer, stirring and skimming occasionally, for about an hour, or until the syrup is ready.
  6. Finally add the remaining lemon juice, stir and leave it to cool completely.
  7. Store in clean and sterilized glass jars with a lid.

Note:  Grated Bergamot zest can be used to flavour cakes but also to make a liqueur.

Update:  15 January, 2015:

A few days ago my daughter asked me to make this preserve which is her favourite.  I found some lovely bergamots at the farmer’s market on Tuesday but she was leaving to the U.K. for her Erasmus program on Friday early in the morning, so I had to have it ready by Thursday evening.

To speed up the procedure for removing the bitterness I changed the water  about 5- 6 times, (morning, noon and evening) and did the boiling process after adding fresh water.  At the end of the last time (noon of Thursday), after trying a piece to see if the bitterness was removed, the bitterness was totally removed, so I boiled the preserve with the sugar until the thermometre reached 105 degrees Celsius.  I added the lemon juice and bottled the preserve once it cooled.

Note:  the leftover syrup is so delicious and aromatic that I always add more sugar and water(ratio 1:1)  to have more leftover to use in recipes which need a syrup to be added in the end.  Think of Baklavas, Galaktoboureko, revani, karydopita, daktyla, etc.

Leftover syrup

You can find this and many other Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here.

 

Other related recipes:

Glyko Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet)
Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon)
Glyko Nerantzi (Bitter oranges)
Glyko Vyssino (Sour cherries)
Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts)

Glyko Kydoni me amygdala (Quince with almonds)
Glyko Kydoni me kastana (Quince with chestnuts)
Glyko Milo (Apples)

also

About Spoon sweets
How can we tell if the syrup is ready?
How to fix spoon sweets

Kopiaste

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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34 Comments on Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot spoon sweet)

  1. Bellini Valli says:

    Wonderful on all accounts Ivy. It seemed that when I was in Greece we were often given spoon sweets at the end of a meal, or fresh fruit (it was cherry season at the time), or sometimes flowers. I have some Citron I purchased on Naxos…but your liqueur of the household would be delicious I am sure of it :D

  2. Cakelaw says:

    Thanks for an interesting post Ivy – I had never heard of a bergamot before.

  3. Ivy says:

    Thanks Val, the two jars of bergamot have disappeared in no time. I have merely saved two pieces for my son who is coming back from Australia tomorrow.
    The liqueur, I have been making good use of it both in sweet and savory dishes which I have not yet posted.
    The liqueur by itself is a dynamite, very aromatic but too strong for me as I rarely drink alcohol.

  4. Ivy says:

    Cakelaw, likewise my brother who lives in Australia has never heard of it before.

  5. Emiline says:

    Well! I’ve learned something today. I’ve never heard of bergamot. Too bad you can’t eat the fruit.
    How wonderful to make your own flavored liquor. I wish I could have some. I’m feeling stressed out right now.

  6. Núria says:

    I’m also ignorant about Bergamot. Maybe I heart about it to make infussions with its seeds, is that possible?
    Thanks Ivy for englightening me in the liquors making. Maybe one day I prepare my own too!!!

  7. Ivy says:

    Hi Emiline, these fruit liqueurs are very good and you can make them with the fruits that have a strong aroma.

    Nuria I don’t know anything about what can be made with its seeds but I am surprised you don’t know it in Spain because I was under the impression that this fruit is a cross between Lemon and the Valencia orange.

  8. Peter M says:

    I’m sure no Bergamots exist in Canada but what are they called in Greek?

  9. Ivy says:

    It’s called Bergamont or or Bergamonto.

  10. Rosie says:

    Hi Ivy, I did hear of bergamot oil when I visited an herbal shop and it recommended to be added with Aloe Vera for skin irritations!?!?

    But a great informative post Ivy that I have learnt so very much here – thank you!

    Rosie x

  11. Ivy says:

    Thanks Rosie. I just learned a few more things reading wiki and just read that it is used in half of womens’ perfumes.

  12. Pixie says:

    I never heard of it but I wish I could try it!!!

  13. Jess Voloudakis says:

    I’ve heard of bergamot as a flavoring for tea, but never as a spoon sweet! I have a friend who will love to see this.

    jess

  14. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    Now that’s one fruit I’ve never seen at the farmers’ market. Perhaps a little research in Greece is in order. :)

  15. White On Rice Couple says:

    These fruits are sooo interesting. WE’ve heard of them, but have yet to see them. Another thing we’ve learned from you! Can’t wait to learn more!

  16. Ivy says:

    Pixie, this is the nice thing about blogging, we get to learn some new things.
    Jess, thanks for passing by. I’ve heard about tea as well. Hope your friend likes this.
    Susan, even here in Greece I haven’t seen it for many years, so a few weeks ago when I saw it I bought it and now feel sorry that I did not buy much more.
    Thanks a lot white on rice couple, you have so many interesting things on your site and must make time to read them.

  17. swirlingnotions says:

    So interesting to learn more about bergamot! One of my favorite fragrances. Thanks, too, for the memory of spoon sweets in Greece!

  18. Ivy says:

    One of my favourites as well.

  19. Kalyn says:

    What an interesting post. I remember hearing this word before, but truly I had no idea what a bergamot was. I can tell you’re very creative in the kitchen by how you’ve used it.

    Also, what a beautiful place you’re living in. I was there for three days once and fell in love with the entire country of Greece, but I loved seeing the historical sights in Athens.

  20. Anna says:

    spoon sweets really intrigue me.

    they’re such a simple, genius idea but not many people seem to eat them outside the middle east/mediterranean.

    i would love to make this, but where to find bergamots in sydney (australia)??? i will have to keep a look out!

  21. african vanielje says:

    I have never come across bergamots (except in Earl Grey tea) and found this a fascinating post. THank you

  22. pixen says:

    Ola Ivy,

    May I know where I can find this fruit in Athens? When is the best season? I was in Athens few months before learning of your blog…

  23. Ivy says:

    Hi Pixen. This is a winter fruit. I don’t know exactly when but I found it sometime end of January – beginning of February and never seen it since.

  24. […] Bergamot Spoon Sweet […]

  25. […] Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet) Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon) Glyko Nerantzi (Bitter oranges) Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot) Glyko Vyssino (Sour cherries) Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts) Glyko Kydoni me amygdala […]

  26. […] Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet) Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon) Glyko Nerantzi (Bitter oranges) Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot) Glyko Vyssino (Sour cherries) Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts) Glyko Kydoni me amygdala […]

  27. […] Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet) Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon) Glyko Nerantzi (Bitter oranges) Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot) Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts) Glyko Kydoni me amygdala (Quince with almonds) Glyko Kydoni […]

  28. […] cup bergamot syrup (or make your own syrup and use it whenever you need […]

  29. […] cup bergamot syrup (or make your own syrup and use it whenever you need […]

  30. […] I was not ready for it yet. Eventually I decided to prepare a lemon spoon sweet, as I did with the bergamot a few months ago and I started cutting the lemon peels the same way.   I wasn’t lucky as the […]

  31. […] Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet) Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon) Glyko Nerantzi (Bitter oranges) Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot) Glyko Vyssino (Sour cherries) Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts) Glyko Kydoni me amygdala […]

  32. […] Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet) Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon) Glyko Nerantzi (Bitter oranges) Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot) Glyko Vyssino (Sour cherries) Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts) Glyko Kydoni me amygdala […]

  33. […] Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet) Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon) Glyko Nerantzi (Bitter oranges) Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot) Glyko Vyssino (Sour cherries) Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts) Glyko Kydoni me amygdala […]

  34. […] leftover spoon sweet syrups.   For those who have already bought my cookbook, I have added a citrus spoon sweet in the cookbook and based on that recipe you can make other citrus spoon sweets as […]

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