Candied Fruits

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Candied fruits are small whole fruits or pieces that are impregnated with a saturated sugar syrup, then drained, dried, and stored at room temperature as separate pieces. Fruit cooked in a sugar syrup remains relatively firm and maintains its shape thanks to the interaction of sugar molecules with the cell-wall hemicelluloses and pectins. Candying can be a tedious process because it takes time for sugar to diffuse from the syrup evenly into the fruit. Typically the fruit is gently cooked to soften it and make its tissues more permeable, then soaked for several days at room temperature in a syrup that starts out at 15–20% sugar, and is made more concentrated each day until it reaches 70–74%.