Candied Angelica Stems: Sweet Goodness

Candied Angelica stems are a very old form of candy, I remember it as something bright green that my Nana used to decorate trifles. Normally Garden Angelica (Angelica archangelica) is used but in my opinion the wild variety has lots more flavour. This recipe is really simple and only really has 2 ingredients, it can be a bit laborious but it’s well worth the time and effort.

Angelica – Angelica Sylvestris, a common, native member  of the Carrot or Umbellifer family. It’s not the easiest plant to ID as its leaves look a little like Hemlock Water Dropwort (Oenanthe crocata) so care must be taken. Also like other members of the family,  it contains phototoxic compounds called furanocoumarins that may cause sensitivity to the sun. Contact with the juice can cause a rash or skin irritation in some. Please don’t let this put you off,  cultivated parsnips for example contain the same compounds and they are widely eaten and don’t come with a health warning on the packet. But it’s always best to be on the safe side, so wear some gloves just in case.

Foraging Angelica

Angelica is a common, annual, and edible member of the Carrot or Umbellifer family.

Once you get used to the key features foraging for it becomes quite simple, however when you’re not used to the family it’s not the easiest plant to ID as its leaves look a little like Hemlock Water Dropwort (Oenanthe crocata) so care must be taken.

both plants also like similar habitats so care must be taken. HWD is considered to be one of the world’s most toxic plants! Angelica leaves tend to be wider and more irregularly lobed. The sheaths at the base of each leaf is also a key ID feature.

Angelica Leaves

The leaves do look similar to Hemlock Water Dropwort. They grow alternately from the main stem and are attached by a long petiole. Where the leaves and the stem meet there is an inflated sheath. The leaves themselves are deep green, smooth, glossy and 2-3 times pinnate. The leaflets are finely serrated, the terminal leaflet has three lobes. Up to 30cm long.

Vatadoshu, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Angelica Flowers

The flowers grow in umbels, there is a main umbel and then secondary umbellets that are separated from each other. The flowers are white to pink, tiny with long stamens, the very centre of the flower called the stylepodium is bright yellow.

AnRo0002, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
W.carter, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


The stems ae hollow, ridged with a purple tinge and can be up to 2 metres long.

W.carter, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Angelica Seeds

The fruits are oblong and will ripen to a dusty brown colour. They have 3 parallel lines or ridges running down the centre. They are around 3-4mm long and have 4 broad lateral wings (two on each side) with thin white edges.

S. Rae from Scotland, UK, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
AnRo0002, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

I’ll pop links to our foraging guides to both below so you can take a thorough look at them before you grab your basket to head out foraging them 🙂

Angelica (Angelica sylvestris) Foraging Guide

Identify Water Hemlock Dropwort

Ingredients for our Candied Angelica Stems:

– Fresh, tender Angelica stems, cut into inch-long pieces
– Sugar
– Water


So making our candied angelica stems may sound like a long task, however, each element only takes a little bit of input from us so it’s done quite quickly!
  1. Prepare Angelica Stems:
    – Blanch the Angelica stems in boiling water for a few minutes.
    – Drain and allow them to cool.
    – Peel off the fibrous outer skin from the stems.
  2. Create Syrup:
    – In a pot, bring equal parts water and sugar to a rolling boil.
  3. First Boil:
    – Add the prepared Angelica stems to the boiling syrup.
    – Boil for 5 minutes.
    – Remove the stems and let the syrup boil rapidly for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Infusion:
    – Pour the hot syrup over the Angelica stems, covering them.
    – Allow the mixture to cool, then refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  5. Repeat Process:
    – Drain the syrup and bring it to a rolling boil.
    – Boil the Angelica stems for 5 minutes.
    – Remove the stems and boil the syrup rapidly for another 5 minutes.
    – Repeat this process at least one more time.
  6. Final Step:
    – After the last infusion, remove the Angelica stems and pat them dry.
    – Toss the dried stems in caster sugar until fully coated.
  7. Drying:
    – Dry the sugar-coated Angelica stems in a dehydrator or a low oven.
  8. Storage:
    – Store the candied Angelica stems in a sealed container or jar.
Candied Angelica stemsrecipoe
Enjoy these delightful candied Angelica stems as a sweet treat or a unique addition to your culinary creations!

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