Making Candied Fruit
Candying fruit is an old tradition. It can seem like a daunting task, but the process is surprisingly easy. Candied fruit is made by boiling fresh fruit in a mixture of sugar and water. This replaces the water in the fruit with sugar, and works to preserve the fruit. In the past, candying could take over a month but a shorter process is used today. Follow the steps below to make your own batch of candied fruit.
Uses for Candied Fruit
Chopped candied fruit can be added into cake batter, and whole slices can be used as a beautiful garnish. The fruit is traditionally used in holiday deserts such as fruitcake, fruit bread, and plum pudding. A jar of candied fruit can also be given as an impressive, inexpensive gift.
Choose your Fruit
Most fruit can be candied, so choose your favorite. Try cherries, cranberries, pineapples, mangoes, or apricots. Use fresh, ripe fruit and make sure it is not blemished.
1. Prepare the fruit. Remove any seeds or pits. Slice larger fruit into 1/4 inch slices or half smaller fruit such as plums. Very small fruit such as berries and cherries can be used whole. If you are candying the peel of citrus fruit, first scrape off the bitter white end.
2. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Use 1 part sugar to 3 parts water. Sugar easily boils over, so watch the mixture closely and use a saucepan with plenty of extra room.
3. Place the fruit in the boiling mixture and lower the heat. Make sure the fruit is submerged and turn it occasionally. Let it cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until the fruit is translucent.
4. Remove the fruit from the water and let it dry overnight. This is best done on a wire rack to let excess water drip out.
5. The fruit is ready when it is dry but still tacky. Roll it in sugar.
6. Store your candied fruit in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The fruit will keep for up to six months.
Next time you head to the market, pick out some fresh, seasonal fruit and candy it with these simple steps.