How to Make Candied Fruit
If you cannot find the fruit already candied... or you want to do your own combination of fruits for fruit cake or sugar plums or simply for gift giving, this method sounds super easy.
But you don't have to stop with fruit: slivers of candied carrot make a wonderful garnish for carrot cakes. How about making your own crystallized ginger?
It certainly sounds simple enough!! Once you get the hang of it, you can even candy your own yams!!
How to Make How to Make Candied Fruit
- Prepare fruit. Cut pineapple, apricots and watermelon rind into small pieces; chop cherries in half; remove white pith from lemon, orange or grapefruit peel and cut into strips or small pieces. Depending on your finished use you may also simply cut your fruit into 1/4 inch (aprox.) slices.
- Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup honey and 1-1/2 cups water in heavy saucepan.
- Boil over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 235 degrees F on candy thermometer.
- Thread Stage
230° F–235° F
sugar concentration: 80%
At this relatively low temperature, there is still a lot of water left in the syrup. When you drop a little of this syrup into cold water to cool, it forms a liquid thread that will not ball up.
Cooking sugar syrup to this stage gives you not candy, but syrup—something you might make to pour over ice cream.
- Drop small amount of fruit into liquid.
- Cook on low heat 20-30 minutes until the fruit or rind is transparent.
- Drain and repeat with rest of fruit in the same syrup.
- Cool fruit and store in airtight container. Your fruit can also be rolled in granulated sugar after it is cooled, to give it a nice frosty coating and to help keep the bits separate.
- NOTE: When you are done making your candied fruit, you will have a very tasty syrup that can be used to sweeten drinks, or pour over ice cream... or whatever you can dream up. It might even be good as a glaze on a bundt cake! Be sure you taste it before storing it. If you like it, keep it. If you don't, well then toss it out.
- Interesting history from Wikipedia: Food preservation methods using sugar (palm syrup and honey) were known to the ancient cultures of China and Mesopotamia. However, the precursors of modern candying were the Arabs, who served candied citrus and roses at the important moments of their banquets. With the Arab domination of parts of southern Europe, candied fruit made its way to the West. The first documents that demonstrate the use of candied fruit in Europe date back to the sixteenth century.
- Tips & Warnings
You can blanch citrus peels (dip them in boiling water for a few minutes) to make them less bitter.
If desired, you can also DEHYDRATE your CANDIED FRUIT by spreading thin layers on trays and drying for 12-18 hours at 120 degrees F until fruit is no longer sticky and the center has no moisture.
To sun dry, put trays in full sun for 1-2 days, stirring occasionally, until fruit is no longer sticky. Take trays in at night.
To oven dry, spread on trays and dry at 120 degrees F for 18-24 hours.
Store dried candied fruit in an airtight container.