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Whole Candied Fruit


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#1 Lindacakes

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 06:58 PM

I am candying my first batch of whole clementines and I'm having some anxiety attacks and I'm hoping someone out there has experience candying whole fruit or can help me --

I candied a dozen at a time. Most of them are plump and heavy and absolutely perfect. That's the Ecstasy.

One dude collapsed in on himself. He looks healthy enough, but I'm wondering why this happened. That's the Agony. That and the uncertainty.

I pierced the skins with a thin needle. The instructions said "all over" I used a little pattern and poked about six on the bottom, six on the top and a dozen in a band around the circumference. Enough or too little?

I'm concerned that the sugar/water ratio isn't strong enough. I've candied before but not with such a high amount of corn syrup. I used glucose from a bucket of sticky-as-shit glucose and I used about a cup of it. I covered the oranges with the required inch of water but some pots are bigger around than others . . .

I've candied before, just not whole fruit or pieces this big. The syrup isn't as thick. I'm told to keep them in their syrup. I don't usually do that with candied fruit.

Any reassurance you might offer would be welcome . . .
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#2 teonzo

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 05:25 AM

Don't worry if a clementine collapsed, it's quite normal.

If you already candied other fruits, then you should know which is the required final density of the syrup. If the amount of syrup in your pot is not enough, then just make some other syrup on another pot, add it to the pot with the clementines, and continue candying them till reaching the correct thickness of the syrup.

All candied fruit are better stored in their syrup, this to prevent crystalization.



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#3 Edward J

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:42 AM

My experience is only with candied peel, not whole fruit--yet.

I do know that large amounts of glucose can hinder the candying process, my books tell me only 10% glucose after the syrup goes over 30 Baume

#4 Lindacakes

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:51 AM

Thank you.

I saw my first whole candied orange this weekend, unexpectedly -- it was an orange, not a clementine, and it looked . . . bruised. Discolored. Was not in syrup.

If the collapsing is quite normal, then I'd say I got terribly lucky for my first time with 11 pristine fruits.
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#5 heidih

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:56 AM

These candied clementines by member bleudauvergne look and sound wonderful. Perhaps comparing your ratios and method would give you an idea.

#6 Lindacakes

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:36 AM

It's a small world. That's the exact recipe I used -- I came to it through David Lebovitz's site.
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#7 andiesenji

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:54 AM

I just noticed this topic this morning.
You are doing it correctly and it is true that some collapse often occurs in one or more fruits.

The only thing different that I do is remove the stem "button" and pierce the center with a skewer, almost all the way through, leaving the blossom end intact.
I also generally take one apart and taste the peel as some are more bitter than others and if these are, I parboil them in two changes of water, draining immediately after removing from the heat and rinsing well with cold water then draining - stem side down - for about an hour before starting with the syrup.

I've candied the little "sour" oranges that have been produced on trees where the grafted parts have been killed in a frost. These are similar to Seville oranges, only about 2 inches in diameter. It took four or five parboiling sessions to get the excessive bitterness reduced enough but the end result was well worth it, although the candying process took longer because the fruit is denser than clementines or mandarins.

The only citrus that doesn't candy well is the Turkish lime, They turn a sort of ugly gray.

The little Mexican limes can be candied, although this also varies, you have to test one or two to begin with because some of these also can turn gray - it depends on the variety and how long since they were picked - if held in cold storage for very long, they also turn gray. They do contain a LOT of seeds.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#8 Lindacakes

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 08:55 AM

Thank you! I did not parboil them, although I do this with regular candied peel. Since the peel of a clementine is so thin, and there is barely any pith, I didn't think it was necessary. Your idea of piercing the middle is a very good one.

If anyone could recommend a book wherein the mysteries of Baume and sugar percentages and corn syrup are revealed I would be grateful. I buy any book that has information on candying and there seems to me to be precious little information. Trial and error is the best teacher so far.

After the clementines, I want to try star fruit since I am disappointed with the sweetness quotient of star fruit in general. Apparently they are good candy candidates.
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#9 andiesenji

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:30 AM

I came across this site about preserving star fruit some time ago but haven't tried it.

One of my friends candies starfruit but first infuses the slices in liquor - I think it is vodka - for 4-5 days before candying. Can't ask him now because he is off on a trip to South America for a month. He uses them in drinks and for decorations on pastries and cakes.

I have some non-technical books
Helen Witty's Fancy Pantry - unfortunately published too late to help me when I was first experimenting with candying ginger - has several recipes for candying fruit.

I have Sugar Plums and Sherbet by Laura Mason but can't find it at the moment. (I have been sorting some of my cookbooks and have stacks all over the house.

I've got an old beat up copy of the Culinary Arts Institute encyclopedic cookbook by Ruth Berolzheimer (1962) that got me started candying citrus peel for fruit cakes forty-some years ago.
The 1988 reprint in paperback is cheap enough. However it is a general cookbook and only has a small section on candy.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#10 teonzo

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 02:47 PM

I strongly suggest to not parboil clementines when you candy them. If you parboil them then be sure almost all of them will collapse.

About technical books, the best one is this:
Bernard W. Minifie - "Chocolate, Cocoa and Confectionery: Science and Technology"
I'm pretty sure it gives detailed explanations also on candying fruits. I don't own it, cause it's really expensive (200 euro) and I always postpone my idea to buy it. If I remember correctly, it's on google books and you can surf on a limited amount of pages for free (at least that was happened 2 years ago when I tried).

Another good book on the science of sugar is this one:
William P. Edwards - "The Science of Sugar Confectionery"
This has a human price, but I don't think it covers candying fruits.



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#11 andiesenji

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 05:34 PM

I had a phone chat with a friend a bit ago and she sent me a pdf document with a couple of illustrations of machinery for processing candied fruits.

It apparently includes a vacuum chamber and I was thinking that it might be interesting to see if using a vacuum sealer would make the candying process easier and faster. I think I will try some experiments.

If anyone wants me to send the pdf document along, PM me.

Edited by andiesenji, 16 March 2011 - 05:35 PM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#12 Edward J

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 05:43 PM

I've borrowed Minifie's "Chocolate, Cocoa, etc" from the Vancouver public library (stacks) several occasions. It deals mostly with mega-large scale chocolate and confectionary (Cadbury's I think). Some very intersting information, and a few golden nuggets (panning with chocolate and gum arabic glazes), but nothing on candying.

Grewling's "Chocolates and Confectionary" has several pages dedicated to this, and Tradeschool Richmonte has a few pages on this, but no "step by step" instructions per say. Don't know of any book that deals exclusively with this subject.

OTOH I've got an early '70's edition of "Larousse Gastronomique" that gives some explicit instrution on the candying of angelica, which I dearly would love to try, but can't get my hands on the stuff, and don't have much of a green thumb, but will give it a shot.

Among the things I've candied are:

Oranges, use them alot in daily pastry and production, peels are a natural by-product of my marmalade making anyway. Good results

Lemons, again used in daily confectionary production. Good results. Lemon syrup comes in handy too.

Cherries. Unfortunately I used Bings, which are good for out-of-hand eating, but are waaaay to sweet and have no characater in baking or in candying. Good cosmetic results though, made for good bulk "filler" in my fruitcakes, and could honestly say that they were home candied cherries with no food colour. If I do cherries again, I won't use bings.

Pears. Inspite of lemon juice washes and citric acid washes, the pears oxidized on me after about a week of candying. Tried 1/4's with stems on for garnishing, and kinda/sorta worked, but a wierd pink/panyhose beige colour to them. Good flavour though.

Limes. Turned out snot green and hard, inspite of blanching 3 times, with the first blanch heavily salted. So-so flavour, but for me unusable.

#13 teonzo

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:46 AM

I've borrowed Minifie's "Chocolate, Cocoa, etc" from the Vancouver public library (stacks) several occasions. It deals mostly with mega-large scale chocolate and confectionary (Cadbury's I think). Some very intersting information, and a few golden nuggets (panning with chocolate and gum arabic glazes), but nothing on candying.


I had access to a physical copy only for some minutes a couple of years ago, so I gave a quick look and probably my memory is failing.
Since you can get it from the library, I'd like to ask some things. Which edition is the copy of your library? As far as I know, there are 3 or 4 different editions: the first one had about 600 pages, then after each edition they added some contents, and the last edition has about 900 pages. I just gave a look to the version on google books of the last edition, and in the index there is a section on fruits starting at page 369. At page 374 starts a subchapter titled "candied and preserved fruits", but I can't read the following pages cause I reached the visualization limit. Is this the same edition as the one of your library, so this title is fake and there are no explanations on the candying process?
Thanks for your help. I kept this book on my want list for a couple of reasons, and one of this was because it was the only source I found that talked about candying (at least that was I understood). If there are no explanations about this, then I can save 200 euro, which is not a bad thing. But each time I tried to give some look on google books I reached the visualization limit after 5 pages, then I tilt and forget about the book for some time.



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#14 Edward J

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:41 PM

It was the first edition, no sections on candying.

Grewling's "Chocolates and confections" has a few pages dedicated to the subject, but that's the only other bbok I know of.

#15 Lindacakes

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 11:29 AM

Lots of good tips.

My main source is Favorite Homemade Cookies and Candies, published by Sedgewood Press in 1982. This has a pictorial step-by-step for candied cherries, which I make nearly every year. I use sour cherries, but I thought I would try sweet this year. The sour cherries have a nice tang but I think they stick out too much in a fruitcake and kind of offset the symphony.

Time Life's The Good Cook / Candy is also a good source.

I have Fancy Pantry -- this one has a recipe for whole kumquats, but recipes for whole fruit are very hard to come by. I did the cranberries one year. They were not splendid, as I had hoped, but I'm a tough customer.

I collect weird old-fashioned candy books in a quest for more information on candying. Most books only have a page or two or a recipe or two and it's relatively hard to get recipes that are for anything besides citrus or ginger. The Complete Wilton Book of Candy has a recipe for Grapefruit Cups (hollowed out whole grapefruits) which I will try sometime, although I can't imagine how you would serve that -- I mean, who would eat an entire candied grapefruit for dessert let alone one stuffed with whatever you stuffed it with?

I also grab any good recipes I find, particularly the marvelous step-by-step done here by Andisenji. The starfruit is very interesting, when I read about this, it was recommended as one of the whole fruits you can candy, so I want to try that. I am imagining something very pretty, though, and might even cheat a bit of food coloring in to enhance this.

I was in Istanbul in the fall, and I went to a restaurant recommended by Paula Wolfert (Ciya) and I told the waiter just bring me whatever you feel like showing off. For dessert I got a plate of candied everything, including candied olives and green walnuts.
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#16 andiesenji

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:26 PM

Do you have these?

I got these two facsimile reprints a few years ago from Acanthus Books and have tried some of the recipes with pretty good results.
They are shown in the original and with a modern interpretation (makes it a lot easier than trying to decipher the original wording).

The total number of pages in the two paperback volumes is 140. However, the print is fairly small and there is a lot of information.

Here's pics of the covers, list of contents and the first page of instructions, to give you an idea of what is in them.
img149.jpg img152.jpg
img150.jpg
img151.jpg

I have had success with the Quince preserve and with the sugared grapes.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#17 ermintrude

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:59 AM

Reading this thread has got me atempting to candy some clementines, however only have powdered glucose anyone know how much powdered glucose equivalent to syrup?

Edited by ermintrude, 21 March 2011 - 08:18 AM.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

#18 ermintrude

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 11:33 AM

Went with 150g of powdered for 200g of glucose syrup.
However after boiling then turning into syrup loads left, so had to go and get more to fill another jar to use the syrup so now have 2 jars
http://www.flickr.co...@N00/5547147033

Edited by ermintrude, 21 March 2011 - 11:47 AM.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

#19 Lindacakes

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 03:25 PM

CIMG11112.jpg

The Ecstasy.
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#20 Darienne

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 05:05 PM

Very nice!!!
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#21 andiesenji

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 06:37 PM

Those are just beautiful, Linda. Mazeltov!
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#22 heidih

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 07:01 PM

Lovely photo Linda- it was Lucy's image of them that drew me in as well as her description. Have you tasted or do they need more time to rest?

#23 ermintrude

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 03:40 PM

Was doing OK, no collapse
IMG_0235.JPG
But then they all slowly collapsed apart and only two uncollapsed left. Please I am keeping the collapsed ones, and will let the sugar finish it's final magic over the next few weeks but why the collapse. I did eat one to see how things were going and it was a mix of wow but skin stil a bit bitter and core needs a bit more.

1. By intuition tells me the fruit I brought was to fresh. I bought fruit with leaves still attached, clemantines like this have leaves attached etc, the skin is loose. I then see other clemantines in a supermarket and it's skin is tight against it. Think of it the same way as eggs, fresh eggs great for poached eggs but vice a versa if you want a meringue.

2. The concentration went as to low to start and then went up to quickly - well I followed the recipe but when in jars 1/3rd was left over which could mean concentration to loww to start and then with 100g increments would accelerate faster - a possibility.

3. Possible wax or oil coating (not removed by the boiling) on the fruit's surface that prevented it being impacted by the syrup as musch as the fruit inside hence collapse. Part of me thinks this could be the case, as I get the impression sugar is only going into the fruit via the pin holes not the skin (Or should I do skewer from tip to bud)

Me normally a non sweet person but this has got me interested, as while some of the failed fruits I've eaten have been bitter, pithy not quite there I can see a potential if not turned into pure sugar (as I generally find candied fruit) . It's got my name on it - but we will see.
Anyone know where I can get (i.e buy) a sample of definitive candied whole fruit that will ship to the UK so I can see if I need to pursue this?

Edited by ermintrude, 11 April 2011 - 03:43 PM.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

#24 natasha1270

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:44 PM

The agony! I've been candying some fantastic mini-mandarins and like ermintrude all was going swimmingly but tonight they collapsed into themselves :sad: Unfortunately, I believe my mistake was that I did not let them cool fully in the syrup before putting them in the jar. I quickly put the mandarins and syrup back in a pot and brought back up to heat and a few of them seemed to plump back up. I'll let them cool overnight and cross my fingers although I suspect the interior integrity is shot. Already planning to pick up another case to try again because the one I pulled out to try was delicious!
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#25 natasha1270

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 09:56 AM

The ecstasy! This was my first time candying whole fruit and I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not sure if this is how they are supposed to turn out on the inside but at least a couple did not totally collapse so I thought I would open one up and take a picture:

Posted Image
The reduced syrup is like a very fragrant orange blossom honey but still runny. It seems like there is a point where they become oversaturated and thus prone to collapse because only the larger mandarins 'survived' while all the smaller ones collapsed.
"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali

#26 natasha1270

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 11:56 AM

I used Lucy's recipe for my first batch and this recipe for candied algerian clementines for my second.

With the 1st recipe (shown in the pic above), the fruit turned the most translucent. The 2nd I had a higher percentage that retained shape but the fruit also darkened more.

I'm a little candied out right now but I also found this process that goes a little deeper into the percentages and fruit selection, etc. that I would like to experiment with:
http://www.workphili...rk-philippines/

another picture (btw: the cut up fruit was one of the collapse victims)
Posted Image

Edited by natasha1270, 29 April 2011 - 12:00 PM.

"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali

#27 Lindacakes

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:46 AM

Well, there is a sad end to this story.

I did not have the heart to photograph the Agony.

I let the fruit sit for a month. During which time all fruits collapsed in on themselves. When I opened the jar, there were some small white spots I assumed were mold. I cut open all the fruits to see what happened. They were stringier than the photo above, and in spite of the mold, I tasted them. Not good. Not horrible, but not good. I threw them all out.

I'm just now starting to heal and feeling like candied lemon peel would be just the ticket.

I am through with whole fruits for the time being. I suspect my problem was not enough punctures in the skin and/or too high a concentration of glucose.

I did buy three half citrons intending to make a fruit cake that I decided not to make. So far I have made Modena Rice Pudding from Lynn Rosetto Kasper's Splendid Table, which was splendid indeed. Next I'll try a chocolate spice cake from Joy of Cooking.

The fascination with candied fruit continues if the ability to create them does not.
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#28 andiesenji

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:44 AM

Linda, your small white spots may have been sugar crystals.

With any syrup cooked for that length of time, crystal form rapidly.

I've held fruits in syrup for months with no mold formation - but plenty of crystals.

It is easy to test, lift out the part with the white spots and apply a few drops of warm water. If sugar crystals, it will become transparent after a few minutes, mold won't be affected.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#29 heidih

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:51 AM

The ecstasy! This was my first time candying whole fruit and I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not sure if this is how they are supposed to turn out on the inside but at least a couple did not totally collapse so I thought I would open one up and take a picture:

Posted Image
The reduced syrup is like a very fragrant orange blossom honey but still runny. It seems like there is a point where they become oversaturated and thus prone to collapse because only the larger mandarins 'survived' while all the smaller ones collapsed.


This gorgeous shot and your description of the syrup taste makes me want to try it with my excess of tangerines. Research to be done.......

#30 natasha1270

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:16 PM

Linda - sad to hear of your fruit malfunction :sad: I hope you will give it another try.

Heidi - I used the Murcott Mini-Mandarins from Ripe to You. Since you have your own trees, I wonder if you used lightly under-ripe fruit, you might have better luck with achieving uncollapsed candied fruit?
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