Some people do not know the differences between candied fruit and jam and believe that it is made in the same way. Although it is true that they have similar aspects, there are also important differences that professionals know to use in their dishes.
We are going to explain the main differences between one and the other and why candied fruits is one of the favorite ingredients, both for chefs and confectioners, to prepare a large number of dishes in Horeca establishments.
Differences between candied fruits and jam
The main difference between candied fruits and jam is its preparation, since, although it uses the same ingredients, the amounts are very different. In the case of jam, it is made with whole natural fruits, cut into small pieces or crushed. In addition, the skin and some other elements of the piece are preserved, something that does not happen in candied fruit, since only the pulp is used.
To make the jam, the fruit is cooked with sugar and a puree with a liquid or semi-liquid consistency is obtained. It must contain at least 30% fruit and, if it contains 50% or more fruit, we can consider it as an extra quality jam.
In the case of candied fruit, it is prepared with the pulp of the fruit cooked in syrup, except when strips of orange or lemon are candied. Hence its texture is so particular, since we can say that it is like a fruit juice turned into a gel.
How much sugar does jam and candied fruits have?
The ratio of sugar in candied fruit and in jam is very different. Jam usually has a proportion of sugar over the total weight of the product between 40% and 60%, while candied fruit usually exceeds these scales depending on the product. The proportion of sugar will also mark whether the product is normal or extra, especially in the case of jams.
The extra jam is made with a minimum percentage of 50% fruit, while in the normal jam, the minimum fruit used will be 30%. In the case of candied fruits, the pulp used must not be less than 35% in the normal category and 45% in the extra category. These percentages are measured in relation to wet weight.
Another of the main properties of candied fruit, and also jam, although to a lesser extent, is its ability to preserve, since it can last for many months (even years) and makes work much easier for professionals. The main reason why candied fruit is preserved for a long period of time is because, by having a greater amount of sugar, it absorbs the water from the natural fruit and prevents the proliferation of bacteria.
Quality candied fruits
Once we know the main differences between candied fruit and jam and, although both are used for the preparation of desserts and sauces, it is true that candied fruit offers more variety of uses to professionals. Its striking colors and its unique flavor and textures make candied fruit an essential ingredient for preparing and decorating cakes, biscuits and tartlets or as an accompaniment to ice cream, yogurt, salads or garnishes.
It is an ingredient that cannot be missing in the kitchen of any hotel, restaurant or catering establishment; For this reason, professionals must have a supplier with all the guarantees and that provides them with the formats and containers they need at all times.
For example, candied cherries are widely used for decorating cakes, therefore a baker, depending on the type of cake, will want to have whole candied cherries with stems available for decoration on the surface. However, if you are making a cherry tart or clafoutis, you may prefer to use the cherries in halves or chunks, as this is an ingredient that goes into the tart.
The same is true of other types of candied fruit. If the professional is making Christmas products, such as marzipan or nougat, cakes or chocolates, he will need candied fruit in cubes or portions, depending on the size of the product. In this way he will be able to introduce a greater variety of candied fruits for his creations.
On the other hand, there are also professionals who want to use whole candied fruits such as pears, peach, plums or tangerines in their dishes and then make the cuts they deem appropriate. In these cases, the type of container is essential to preserve all the properties of the candied fruit.
Not all candied fruit brands can offer professionals such a variety of formats and containers to adapt to their requirements; that’s why Lazaya is one of the favorites of chefs and pastry chefs.
At Lazaya, after more than 80 years providing the best candied fruits to professionals, we know very well the difference between candied fruit and jam and we continue to innovate and improve our products year after year. Contact us and tell us what you need for your business. We are at your disposal.