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Candied Fruits

Candied Fruits

I have been intrigued by a box of candied fruits that I was given this year, only having encountered the usual glace cherries and mixed peel in the past.  The box contains whole candied figs, pears, apples, oranges, apricots, eggplant etc – and has been a revelation to me.  In spite of understandable Christmas exhaustion, I am gripped by a desire to be able to make these myself for next year’s Christmas presents, but haven’t got a clue how to start.

I am particularly intrigued by the glace oranges.  Do they use special small varieties for this treatment?  At first I thought, “Must be a satsuma”, but it wasn’t.  Biting into it released a REAL orange flavour, not the wishy-washy taste of tangerines.  Figs I can do from my own fig tree,  if the Gods are kind with the weather this year.  But where to find the tiny pears and apples they apparently use (complete with seeds) for this treatment?  And how to go about it?

I must find out, and wonder if any of you have any experience of doing this?  And can offer any help or advice to this very enthusiastic beginner, who is full of daydreams of offering boxes of jewel-coloured fruits for next Christmas?  I may just end up with a very sticky kitchen, and become irresistable to every wasp for miles around, but I want to have a go.  Another benefit I can identify, is having a source of glace fruit for Delia’s glace fruit cake, which were almost impossible to find in local shops.

15 Responses

    • Beanstew says:

      Have looked this up, and it seems to be a time-consuming operation requiring weeks of repeated immersion in increasingly strong sugar solutions. It has been used as a method of preserving since the 14th century – and once again I am over-awed by the intelligence and ingenuity of our forefathers. Still determined to try it, but would never have thought it up by myself.

  1. bizzylizzy says:

    kumquats might be good to try

  2. gertie says:

    Ooh you lucky peop Sheila LOVE candied fruits yummy! They do ’em really well in France but I cannot yet helpwith the making…..only the eating :D

    • Beanstew says:

      I am sure you are right BL – in fact I encountered a candied object that I guess was probably part of one in my box of goodies. It was what appeared to be a very thick piece of citrus peel which was really delicious. Will be keeping a look-out for these. Anyone know what their season is?

      • gertie says:

        They are popular at Christmas in Normandy, but you can get them most any time Sheila. They candy all sorts of citrus peel as well as plums, figs well any kind of fruit….LOVE it! There are also pure fruit sugared sweets…expensive also, as a cut above the norm, and also delicious. Will get some next time I go across to the house, but it will be a while as BB is not yet fit. All this stuff is usually available in places like Harrods and Fortnum and Masons.:-)

        • gibbon says:

          I was in London for a few days visiting my daughter who worked at the Rembrant hotel, my wife wanted to go in to harrods, I niped in to the V & A, then met my wife who was sporting a Harrods bag, with a loaf of bred in it, later she proswaded me to go in for a look around, and a thing that caught my eye was some corndollies ,at 2pound each, they looked to be made by the same person as those in woolworths for 6pence (old money,

          • I have visited Harrods only once I went into the christmas shop!!! thought it was a load of overpriced tatt. not sure if I’m so common that I missed something!!!! or that you are just paying for the name, not the quality. needless to say i didn’t buy anything.

        • Beanstew says:

          Mine came from John Lewis – which is a shop I like.

      • bizzylizzy says:

        kumquats are usually out nov- dec they are thin skinned not really thick peel on them b-s , it does seem to be a bit confusing if you google candied fruit it seems fruit in a syrup and bottled comes up , not the candied fruit that you had

  3. Beanstew says:

    Apparently strawberries can be treated this way – but my heart quails at the thought of how this can be achieved without total disintegration. Lots of experimenting to do…..

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