Citrus Confit

The term confit, from the French word for “preserved,” is applied to various types of preserved foods. In European parlance, the term fruit confit refers to the fully candied fruit discussed previously. In this case, the term citrus confit refers to citrus skins that have been blanched and then simmered in heavy syrup. The result is what could well be called “half-candied” citrus skins; they are saturated with syrup and have an extended shelf life, but they are not as shelf stable as fully candied fruits are. Citrus skins are uniquely suited to this quick version of candying because they have a relatively low moisture content to begin with and do not spoil easily. These skins are often used for baking and pastry applications, and also find use in confectionery centers such as orange ganache. When partially dried and dipped in chocolate, citrus confit makes a fine confectionery center on its own.

Defects in Jellies

Defect Cause Remedy
Gelatin Jellies (Gummies)
Tough Gummies

Overcooked

Excessive gelatin in formula

High-bloom-strength gelatin

Excessive glucose syrup in formula

Cook to lower temperature

Decrease gelatin in formula

Use lower-bloom-strength gelatin

Reduce glucose syrup in formula

Soft Gummies

Undercooked

Insufficient gelatin

Low-bloom-strength gelatin

Cook to higher temperature

Increase gelatin in formula

Use higher-bloom-strength gelatin

Difficulty Depositing Too cool while depositing Keep warm while depositing
Agar Jellies
Tough Texture

Too much agar in formula

Excessive glucose syrup in formula

Change in variety of agar

Cooked to too high a temperature

Decrease agar in formula

Reduce glucose syrup in formula

Use agar from the same origin

Cook to lower temperature

Sweating Undercooked Cook to higher temperature
Undissolved Agar

Cooked too rapidly

Insufficient soaking

Unstrained after dissolving

Begin cooking slowly to ensure dissolution of agar

Soak strips or flakes overnight before use

Strain after dissolving strips or flakes

Scorching

Insufficient stirring during cooking

Excessive heat during cooking

Stir constantly, scraping sides during cooking

Moderate the heat to maintain low boil during cooking

Starch Jellies
Sweating

Insufficient gelatinization of the starch

Undercooked

Gelatinize starch with water before adding the sugars

Use 8 parts water to 1 part starch to gelatinize fully

Cook to higher temperature

Soft Jellies

Insufficient starch in formula

Acid added too soon

Undercooked

Increase starch in formula

Add acid after cooking

Cook to higher temperature

Tough Texture

Overcooked

Excessive starch in formula

Excessive glucose syrup in formula

Cook to lower temperature

Reduce starch in formula

Reduce glucose syrup in formula

Scorching

Insufficient stirring during cooking

Excessive heat during cooking

Stir and clean sides while cooking

Moderate heat during cooking

Pectin Jellies
Soft Jellies

Undercooked

Undissolved pectin

Cook to higher temperature

Disperse pectin in sugar; stir into liquid ingredients while cold

Tough Texture

Excessive pectin in formula

Overcooked

Excessive glucose syrup in formula

Reduce pectin in formula

Cook to lower temperature

Reduce glucose syrup in formula

Sweating

Excessive acid in formula

Undercooked

Reduce acid in formula

Cook to higher temperature

Failure to Gel

Insufficient pectin in formula

Insufficient acidity

Undercooked

Increase pectin in formula

Increase acid in formula

Cook to higher temperature

Candied Fruit
Crystallization Insufficient doctoring agent

Add more glucose syrup

Reboil already crystallized fruit with a small amount of water to dissolve crystals, then add more glucose to prevent recrystallization

Fermented During Process Microbial activity

Boil syrup each day

Bring fruit to temperature with syrup every few days

Cover during storage

Tough Texture Density increased too quickly Increase density only 5 percent or less each day
Disintegrating Fruit

Overripe fruit

Soft fruit

Overblanched fruit

Use fruit that is slightly underripe

Use firm fruit for candying

Blanch the fruit minimally

Poor Shelf Life

Insufficient solids content

Fruit not fully permeated

Syrup must reach 75 percent solids

Increase density slowly; leave fruit in syrup several days after 75 percent solids level is achieved

Fruit not Entirely Translucent Areas of the fruit not permeated by syrup Heat fruit with syrup to assist with permeation
Citrus Confit
Skins Tough Cooked too rapidly Cook in syrup at a low simmer
Bitter Skins

Insufficient blanching

Very thick skins

Blanch at least three times, in fresh water each time, to remove bitterness

Use skins with less pith

Crystallization Insufficient doctoring agent Increase amount of glucose syrup in formula
Spoilage During Storage Insufficient solids content Poor storage conditions Use syrup of 65 percent solids or more Store covered in refrigerator

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