Candied Fruit

Appears in

Chocolates and Confections

By Peter Greweling

Published 2007

  • About
Candied fruit is made by replacing the water in the cells of fruit with a supersaturated sugar solution. The syrup’s low water-activity level prevents microbial activity and spoilage. Fruit preserved with sugar has been made since ancient times; originally honey or concentrated grape juice was used, and later refined sugar was employed. Candied fruit began as a method to preserve a harvest when there were few other options for preservation. Historically, candied fruit was used both as a confectionery treat by itself and for baked goods made for special occasions, such as Christmas pudding and wedding cakes. Today candying is not necessary to preserve fruit; better techniques for preserving produce abound, and much of the candied fruit on the market is of poor quality and artificially colored, offering little in the way of flavor. Like most crafts, however, there is a world of difference between mediocre mass-produced candied fruit and that created by skilled artisans. Candying fruit is not a technically demanding procedure, but it requires time, patience, and attention to detail. The process itself may take from ten days to several weeks, depending on the fruit used and how it is prepared. The possibilities are nearly endless for the type of fruit to candy, the adjunct flavoring ingredients to use, and the ways to present and use the finished product. As with any other branch of confectionery, there is both a science and an art to producing beautiful candied fruit.