Put all ingredients except butter and the optional ingredients into the
Grease and line a 10 x 5-inch pan.
Freeze all the butter.
Fill the kitchen sink with 1/2 inch of water.
Dissolve the sugar. The mixture may look curdled, but it will turn out fine.
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon over low heat until the spoon glides smoothly
over the bottom of the an. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil.
Wash down any crystals that may have formed with a pastry brush dipped in
hot water, using as little water as possible. Clip a candy thermometer to the
side of the saucepan. Reduce heat while retaining boil. Stir no more than necessary.
Test in ice water when mixture thickens and bubbles become noisy. A ball, formed
in ice water, should hold its shape until heat from your hand begins to flatten
it, and it should be slightly chewy. The temperature will be approximately 236
degrees F to 244 degrees F.
Remove saucepan from heat and place it in the sink. Add frozen butter without
stirring, then allow the fudge to cool.
Stir when lukewarm and skin forms on top (110 degrees F).
Add food coloring and check flavoring.
Add optional lemon extract if desired.
Remove zest, then agitate in a food processor or with an electric mixer
and not by hand. Pause frequently to allow fudge to react. Watch for fudge to
thicken, lose its sheen, become light in color or streaked with lighter shades,
give off some heat, and suddenly stiffen. If mixing by hand, fudge will "snap"
with each stroke; by mixer, mixer waves will become very distinct; by food processor,
fudge will flow sluggishly back to center when processor is stopped.
Add optional chopped nuts just before you pour.
Pour, score and store when cool in airtight container in refrigerator or
at room temperature.
Yield: 1 pound
This recipe is not easily doubled, but it can be frozen.