Many people are not well aware of the differences between candied fruit and frosted fruit and, although most believe they are the same, they have very different characteristics that professionals use to enhance their creations and surprise their customers with new textures, flavors and aromas.
We are going to explain in this post the main differences between frosted and candied fruit, how they are made and how they are used in different confectionery products.
Candied fruit: main characteristics
Sometimes the terms candied fruit and frosted fruit (also known as crystallized fruit) are used interchangeably but, although similar, they are not the same. Candied fruit is obtained through a process of cooking in syrup in which the water and sugars inside are extracted, reinforcing its flavor and increasing its shelf life.
The candied process is not complicated, only sugar and water are used and, depending on the size of the piece and its composition, it can last several hours or even days, since whole fruits, strips of skin, pieces with shell or pieces with pulp can be candied.
Special care must be taken in the cooking times to achieve the desired effect, especially with the syrup, since if we overcook it, it could turn into caramel and ruin the confit process.
The candied fruits most often used by professionals are cherries, apples, pears, orange and lemon strips, pumpkin, peach, melon, pineapple, plum, apricot, etc.
Once the candied fruit is obtained, it can be converted into frosted fruit or glazed fruit if it is covered with sugar, although in different ways. In glazed fruit, the sugar is spread evenly and in frosted fruit, the sugar solidifies forming small crystals that give it that characteristic look as if it were frost, hence the name.
Properties of candied fruit
The main property of candied fruit is its ability to be preserved for long periods of time, even years, without adding any other product. This is possible thanks to the layer of sugar that surrounds the fruit and that comes from the syrup.
In addition to its extraordinary preservation power, another excellent property of candied fruit is that it preserves its texture, color, juiciness, aroma and flavor intact, although with a greater amount of sugar than the original fruit. On the other hand, candied fruits have a denser body than natural ones because they do not have moisture inside and instead the sugar has crystallized.
To make candied fruit, it is necessary to use ripe pieces, of great quality and without bruises. The juiciest are small or medium-sized fruits with firm flesh.
From candied fruit to frosted fruit
Once we have the candied fruit ready, professionals can use it for their dishes or they can go one step further and proceed to frosted or glazed with an extra layer of sugar that is usually very attractive in decoration of cakes, biscuits, cakes, or in typical buns such as the Roscón de Reyes.
To glaze the fruit you have to dip it in a mixture of water and sugar. The result is a smooth, uniform layer of sugar that completely covers the fruit, giving a glossy look to it. In the case of frosted fruit, you have to sprinkle the sugar over the candied fruit, in this way it receives a thicker layer of sugar and when it solidifies it offers a more crystallized appearance.
The frosting process can be done with all kinds of fruit, but in the case of fruit with hard skin, such as orange or lemon, the fruit must be cooked for half an hour beforehand.
What is candied and frosted fruit used for?
Both candied and frosted fruit are commonly used in all kinds of desserts, especially in decoration or as an ingredient, although they can also be found as an accompaniment to meat and fish, in the preparation of sauces or also eaten directly as a snack.
Frosted and also glazed fruit ar widely used in Christmas desserts because they convey the cold of that time of year and have a more festive and fun appearance. However, you can also find them in many cakes, ice creams, plumcakes, tartlets or brownies.
Although they are not complicated, the candied and frosted processes are very laborious and require a lot of time and dedication, which is why professionals prefer to trust leading brands in the candied fruit market that offer a wide range of products in different formats and packaging.
At Lazaya preserved fruits we have been offering professionals candied fruit of the highest quality and with numerous alternatives to make their work easier for more than 80 years. For example, in the case of cherries, we have our own plantations and the professional can choose between cherries with or without stems, in halves, pieces or whole, with or without sugar, different sizes and brix, as well as different packages: cardboard, glass, tin or plastic. Contact us us and tell us what you need. Talk later?