Everyone loves candied fruit. These colorful, richly flavored pieces cooked in a thick sugar syrup are substitutes for sweets in diets and are also used for decoration in baked goods and making desserts.
Candied fruit are considered low-calorie and healthy sweets that can be included in the diet. In addition, they are very healthy because they contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and trace elements in a concentrated form.
How to prepare candied fruit?
Some novice chefs ask the question what can candied fruit be made from? The answer is simple - from any fruit. From apples and pears, to cucumbers and beets, as well as orange, melon and watermelon peels, they become raw materials for candied fruits. So, let's learn how to properly make candied fruit at home so that they turn out beautiful, aromatic and soft.
Pretreatment of the fruit
The fruit are thoroughly washed, cleaned from the seeds and cut into small slices - the finer the pieces, the better they are soaked in syrup and easier to dry. If you have decided to make candied citrus (such as orange and lemon), it would be a good idea to soak these fruit in cold water for several hours beforehand, by changing the water frequently. This would wash the bitterness from the skin of these fruit.
Before making candied fruit from pears, pumpkins, apples and carrots, they must be boiled in boiling water. Peaches and apricots are boiled for 3 minutes, apples, quinces and pears - 5 minutes, citrus peels - 7 minutes, carrots and pumpkin - 10 minutes. Melon and watermelon should not be blanched in advance.
Preparation of the syrup
Take 300 g of sugar in 300 ml of water and boil the syrup for 10 minutes. The quality of the candied fruit depends on the consistency of the syrup - for example, a thick and strong syrup makes the pieces of fruit too soft and deprives them of an elastic core, which is valued in candied fruit. On the other hand, a syrup that is too liquid does not allow the fruit to candy.
Immerse the fruit slices in the syrup, boil for 15 minutes and leave them inside for at least two to three hours.
For different fruit and vegetables, the processing time may vary - it all depends on the degree of their softness and juiciness.
Drying the candied fruit
Place fruit slices in a sieve or colander to strain the syrup, then transfer the candied fruit onto a wooden board and leave them for a day or two, by turning them occasionally to dry evenly.
The candied fruit can be sprinkled with crystal sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla. Store them in a tightly closed glass jar - so they retain their softness and freshness for a long time.