How to make candied fruit

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 31 October 2008

Bright colours, funny shapes, soft texture and flavours from yesteryear...candied fruit remains a favourite, especially on special occasions. But we rarely dare make it ourselves for fear it's too complicated. Candied fruit is simple to make, so take our tips and become a pro!

Dried fruit and sugar

To make candied fruit, simply replace the water contained in the fruit with sugar, which is an excellent preservative. This process needs to be done slowly.

The very simple technique is carried out in a few steps:

- Pick very good, perfectly ripe fruit, without marks or flaws

- Blanch the fruit to break the fibres and to make it permeable.

- Soak the fruit in a variety of different syrups, increasing the concentration.

- Once candied (the finished product will be 80% sugar and 20% fruit fibre), drain and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Basic method

This recipe is for 500g of fruit that has been pre-prepared (washed, pitted and peeled.

Keep the little fruit whole (cherries, little plums etc.), quarter citrus fruit, cut big round fruit into pieces (pear, apple, pineapple) and, apricots and plums into two.

Blanche your fruit to make them more permeable to the sugar. To do this, soak them in boiling water for 30 secs than in cold water. Some fruit is more fragile than others so put your peaches in boiling water for only 15 secs.

Ingredients

- 500g of fruit

- 250g fine white sugar and 30cal of water (for the syrup)

- 440g of sugar, to add to the syrup as needed

Preparation

To make the syrup, melt 250g of fine sugar in 300ml water in a deep pan and bring to the boil slowly. Leave to simmer for 2 to 3 mins. The syrup should be quite thick.
Place your fruit in a sieve or big slotted spoon and dip into the syrup (off the heat).

Check that all the fruit is covered and leave to soak for 24 hours. The next day, drain and set aside.Add 60g of sugar to your syrup. Bring to the boil slowly and boil for 1 minute. Pour this syrup onto the fruit and let it soak for 24 hours.

Repeat for 3 days running, adding 60g more sugar each day, boiling the syrup for 1 minute and soaking the fruit for 24 hours.

On the 6th day, drain your fruit, add 100g sugar to the syrup, bring to the boil, pour your fruit into the syrup and leave to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 48hours.

Repeat the previous step: add 100g sugar, let the fruit simmer in the syrup for 3 minutes, then set aside for 48 hours.

Finally, drain the fruit completely using a sieve and place on a cooling rack to dry out.

Keep your fruit in an airtight container, away from light and damp.

Advice

- If you want to candy citrus fruit peel (orange, lemon or lime), buy organic fruit to make sure it is free of all pesticides. Scrape off the white part of the peel as this is very bitter.

- Choose good quality fruits which are fresh and ripe.

- You can store candied fruit in the syrup.

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