Both fresh and candied fruit are popular ingredients used regularly by master bakers when creating their desserts. The difference between these ingredients stems from the fact that candied fruit is preserved in syrup and therefore has a longer life. Candied fruit also offers different and innovative flavours from the original fresh fruit it derives.
The process of preserving fruit can take anything between a few hours to a few days, depending on the size of the fruit (whether a whole fruit is being preserved in its entirety, whether fruit peel is being preserved or whether the fruit has been chopped first) and the composition of the fruit in question (the amount of water it contains). One kilogram of sugar is usually added to one kilogram of fruit, so that the syrup can help stop bacteria breaking it down, with the layer of sugar naturally conserving the fruit without requiring additional chemical products.
Qualities offered by candied fruit
First of all, it is important to note that not all fruit can be candied. The fruits that master chefs most often use are glacé cherries, candied apples, oranges, lemons, tangerines, peaches, apricots, pineapple, figs and pears. This fruit can be candied in many ways. Some professional chefs prefer chopped candied fruit where solely the pulp of the fruit can be tasted in a delightful burst of flavour in the mouth.
The main quality of candied fruit is, without a doubt, the fact that it endures, meaning that fruit can be eaten out of season, whenever desired. This is a very important quality for chefs who know that they can count on this ingredient all year around, perfectly preserved and stored at room temperature, for use over a long period of time, sometimes even years.
Another important quality of candied fruit is that it maintains all of its properties such as its texture, aroma, taste and juiciness, as well as its fibre content – one of its most nutritional benefits – allowing us to say that, in this sense, the benefits are similar to eating fresh fruit except for the fact that the sugary flavour is more intense. The greatest difference is the density of preserved fruit when savoured, because its sugar has absorbed the water content of the original piece of fruit and crystallized it, providing the sensation of tasting something with more body than we would expect from fruit.
Advantages of using candied fruit in baking
Some people think that candied fruit belong solely to Christmas, especially for the famous Spanish roscón de reyes but, although it is true that candied fruit is most often linked to that cake, it is also regularly used for decorating sponge cakes, tarts and other bakery products, as well as being found in yoghurts, icecreams, muffins, cupcakes, bon bons, turrones or jellied fruit. The bright colours and fun flavours of candied fruit always make desserts attractive, and more and more professionals are turning to candied fruit for new recipes.
Candied fruit is not solely used for sweet dishes, it can be found in many savoury meals too where it adds distinct and original touches to the flavour of meat, sauces and puff pastries. Cocktails often include candied fruit among their ingredients, as do snacks, where dried fruit is mixed with candied.
There are two types of candied fruit: glazed and sugar-coated. Glazed candied fruit is uniformly covered with layer of sugar whereas sugar-coated candied fruit is sprinkled with granulated castor sugar which settles into a dusted layer encapsulating the fruit.
One thing we can be sure of is that candied fruit offers a wide range of choices to professionals who always find the right candied fruit to combine with the rest of the ingredients. Furthermore, candied fruit can be exposed to high temperatures such as those needed to make tarts, cakes and other dishes.
Professional chefs opt for top brands
The success behind making top quality candied fruit comes from meticulously choosing the right fruit, matured to perfection and unbruised, ready to eat. Fruit is often picked when it is slightly smaller and when the pulp is at its best. When these quality standards are employed, the resulting candied fruit is always delicious because it has gone through a careful selection process before being made.
This is why professionals choose trusted brands that are capable of offering top quality products, such as Lazaya. At Lazaya the fruit is collected from our own orchards and we control the whole process from harvest to distribution in packaged containers.
Our brand has thus gained a great advantage, and this is the reason why the majority of chefs turn to us for a wide range of candied fruit. Contact us today and let us know what you are planning to make. We would be delighted to assist.