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Lindacakes

Candying Cherries

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I'm wondering if anyone out there can offer advice for candying cherries --

I bought three pounds of cherries at the Farmer's Market and pitted them, then ditched the recipe I used last year (it's all about boiling the cherries for a long period of time, making a reduction of the syrup) in favor of one of those complicated processes from a really old-fashioned candy making book.

So, I plunged the cherries in boiling water for 4 minutes.

Used some of the water with sugar added to create a syrup.

I've got vats of cherries one cherry thick in my kitchen.

Every day I'm pouring off the syrup, adding another 1/4 cup of sugar, boiling it, and then pouring it back over the cherries.

I'm on day two of this, it will continue for five days.

At which point I go through a drying process of some sort, I go up to like ten days.

The cherries aren't red, they're not exactly brown. They've reduced in size. The syrup is still pretty thin at this point.

Anyone been through this and care to help me avoid disaster? After the time investment, I'd like to have my two pounds of really delish candied cherries.

Also, any other candying advice you may have is welcome, I'm just interested in the process. The more perfect, the better.


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

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those sound really interesting. i can't wait to hear about how they turn out.

i wonder if a little citric acid added at the onset might have prevented the browning.


Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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The recipe recommends adding food coloring to the boiling water for reddness. I opted not to do that. After four days of increasing the sugar in the syrup, they're now a sort of deep dark red, still brown, but a more robust color.

I'm thinking I might do some photographs and post the result in recipe gullet. There's very little real information out there about candying, just fruit peel.

It's actually not difficult, one just needs to be prepared to spend a half hour playing with the fruit every morning.

I'd like to make my own prunes, now known as dried plums, from a better quality of plum than most prunes seem to be made of.


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

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The recipe recommends adding food coloring to the boiling water for reddness.  I opted not to do that.  After four days of increasing the sugar in the syrup, they're now a sort of deep dark red, still brown, but a more robust color.

I'm thinking I might do some photographs and post the result in recipe gullet.  There's very little real information out there about candying, just fruit peel.

It's actually not difficult, one just needs to be prepared to spend a half hour playing with the fruit every morning. 

I'd like to make my own prunes, now known as dried plums, from a better quality of plum than most prunes seem to be made of.

They used to grow lots of prunes for drying here in the Willamette Valley. The common variety was called Brooks Prunes. My neighbor used to have tree of French Prunes, smaller and redder, not purple black. . Never heard of them being called dried plums - I always think of plums as juicier - sometimes labeled Japanese Plums. There is a source in Dayton OR that is wonderful and currently sold out - http://bowyerfarms.com/

I'm looking forward to hearing how your candied cherries turn out.

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David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop, gives a recipe for candied cherries. It's pretty darned quick, the cooking and candying part taking less than an hour. The problem is that the candied cherries are good only for up to two weeks in the fridge.

I did Kumquats by the slower method and they were good for a few months in the fridge. They all ended up in ice cream.

Would it be useful to use Andie's technique of putting the pitted cherries into a simple syrup using the crock pot method similar to candying ginger? Or perhaps the microwave method?

It appears that Lindacakes never reported back how her cherries turned out in 2007. Has anyone else candied cherries?

I am not trying to make maraschino cherries. I think the chopped up cherries will end up in ice cream.

(I really need to start a thread called 'Candied Anything which can be Candied'. It would be very useful. :wink:)

Whoops. Did not read the subheading. This is MY kind of topic!


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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The recipe for candied cherries is in eGullet, I just looked it up and it sounds really good! Always looking for interesting things to try and who doesn't like cherries. Okay I know a few but I'm not one of them!

Jane

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If anyone wants an extremely detailed and technical (patented) description of the candying process, it can be found at this site.

Scroll down to read the precise instructions which include the use of a Brix Meter (refractometer).

A less technical process is described here, specifically for cherries.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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I used to just cryovac the pitted cherries with a strong syrup (about 2:1 + a little glucose) and throw them in the cvap oven at 180 degrees/100% steam for about 2 hours, until they turn completely translucent.

They are not as sticky as traditionally candied cherries, but they are fully red and translucent. They also only hold about a week once you open the bag.

Works well for kumquats too but they often take up to 4 hours.

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Jane: Thanks for pointing out that the recipe was there. Got it!

Andie: As usual, you have such good information to pass on!!! A Brix metre is $75.00 at Lee Valley and it's out of my snack bracket right now, but I'll read all the downloads before carrying on.

Sethro: I have no idea of what it means to 'cryovac the pitted cherries' and I guess that the cvap is a convection oven?

Thanks all.


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Jane:  Thanks for pointing out that the recipe was there.  Got it!

Andie:  As usual, you have such good information to pass on!!!  A Brix metre is $75.00 at Lee Valley and it's out of my snack bracket right now, but I'll read all the downloads before carrying on.

Sethro:  I have no idea of what it means to 'cryovac the pitted cherries' and I guess that the cvap is a convection oven? 

Thanks all.

I do have a brix meter but have used it sparingly. In fact, I don't even know where it is presently located because it has been so long since I did use it.


"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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Jane:  Thanks for pointing out that the recipe was there.  Got it!

Andie:  As usual, you have such good information to pass on!!!  A Brix metre is $75.00 at Lee Valley and it's out of my snack bracket right now, but I'll read all the downloads before carrying on.

Sethro:  I have no idea of what it means to 'cryovac the pitted cherries' and I guess that the cvap is a convection oven? 

Thanks all.

Not sure the refractometer at Lee Valley goes high enough for this purpose.

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Jane:  Thanks for pointing out that the recipe was there.  Got it!

Andie:  As usual, you have such good information to pass on!!!  A Brix metre is $75.00 at Lee Valley and it's out of my snack bracket right now, but I'll read all the downloads before carrying on.

Sethro:  I have no idea of what it means to 'cryovac the pitted cherries' and I guess that the cvap is a convection oven? 

Thanks all.

Sorry. Cryovac is the popular brand of vacuum compressor (like xerox is to copiers). Cvap is an oven that cooks with moisture at regulated temperature as supposed to regular convection oven that just injects steam willy-nilly. You could use any brand of vacuum compressor and cook in water on an induction unit with temp hold function just as well I guess.

I wouldn't even recommend this approach to duplicate the traditional candied fruit though, where the sugar concentration in much higher. This is just an alternative idea I toyed with and liked the results of.

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Thanks for the cryovac information.

So much information...so little time.

I think I'll go for the fastest method this time. I have underway, David L's Cheesecake Ice Cream and I'll just chop up the cherries...we have now eaten most of them...and put them into the ice cream.

Then I'll buy a huge whack and do one of the S L O W methods.

Thanks again, all. :smile:

( I don't know what Kerry means:

Not sure the refractometer at Lee Valley goes high enough for this purpose.
but then I haven't read the technical paper thoroughly. If I can't figure it out, I'll get back. Thanks.)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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The refractometer at Lee Valley goes up to 40 Brix.  In this method you need to go to 75 Brix.

As always, thanks. :smile:


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Made D Lobovitz's Candied Cherries to try out the recipe. DH loved them...I did not. They were OK, but then I don't have DH's sweet tooth. I hate Maraschino cherries...and come to think of it, cherries are far from my favorite fruit.

Added them to the 'Cheesecake Ice Cream' which was a mistake in my estimation. It was all too sweet for me. I added some extra lemon zest, some lemon juice, and some very toasted almond slivers. The almonds helped.

Gotta try it all... But I think I'll pass on candying cherries. Candying works best for me on substances which are not sweet in their natural form. I think... :hmmm:


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Made D Lobovitz's Candied Cherries to try out the recipe.  DH loved them...I did not.  They were OK, but then I don't have DH's sweet tooth.  I hate Maraschino cherries...and come to think of it, cherries are far from my favorite fruit.

Added them to the 'Cheesecake Ice Cream' which was a mistake in my estimation.  It was all too sweet for me.  I added some extra lemon zest, some lemon juice, and some very toasted almond slivers.  The almonds helped. 

Gotta try it all...  But I think I'll pass on candying cherries.  Candying works best for me on substances which are not sweet in their natural form.  I think... :hmmm:

Try candying sour cherries. They turn out quite different from the sweeter varieties.


"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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Try candying sour cherries.  They turn out quite different from the sweeter varieties.

I'll give it a try although, not being a true cherry lover, I don't think I have ever noticed fresh sour cherries for sale here. I have purchased bottled sour cherries. I'll look for them this year.

Did not get around to candying rhubarb this year...but I did get my ginger planted this morning!!! :smile:

And, of course, I have another batch of candying ginger under way. A woman cannot make too much candied ginger I have discovered.

Thanks, as always, for your help. :wub:


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Try candying sour cherries.  They turn out quite different from the sweeter varieties.

I'll give it a try although, not being a true cherry lover, I don't think I have ever noticed fresh sour cherries for sale here. I have purchased bottled sour cherries. I'll look for them this year.

Did not get around to candying rhubarb this year...but I did get my ginger planted this morning!!! :smile:

And, of course, I have another batch of candying ginger under way. A woman cannot make too much candied ginger I have discovered.

Thanks, as always, for your help. :wub:

My friend, Mel, who loves sour cherries, tells me that she has never seen them for sale in our area...east central Ontario. Are they available in Toronto does anyone know?


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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The vendors at our farmer's market tell me that they're expecting the central NY crop to come in mid-July. Is there any prohibition against importing them yourself?

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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The vendors at our farmer's market tell me that they're expecting the central NY crop to come in mid-July. Is there any prohibition against importing them yourself?

MelissaH

There are all sorts of rules and regulations on both sides of the US/Canadian border. And they change. I know that it is against the law for a private car to take fruit into the USA from Canada. I don't know about the other way.

What I might do is check with some of the larger grocery chains nearer to Toronto. See if anyone brings them in. As I said you can get them canned or bottled and perhaps you can get them frozen...the trouble may be getting them fresh.

Thanks for the information.


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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The Niagara peninsula has sour cherries - so I expect you could get them in Toronto.

Thanks Kerry.

If the Niagara grows sour cherries, then I find it hard to believe that you can't get them in Peterborough. Perhaps my friend is mistaken. I'll call the produce managers of some of the local grocery stores.

Thanks as always. :smile:


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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The Niagara peninsula has sour cherries - so I expect you could get them in Toronto.

Thanks Kerry.

If the Niagara grows sour cherries, then I find it hard to believe that you can't get them in Peterborough. Perhaps my friend is mistaken. I'll call the produce managers of some of the local grocery stores.

Thanks as always. :smile:

One of my friends used to live in a suburb of Hamilton, which I think is pretty far east, and she used to buy cherries for canning in the early summer from farmstands a few miles outside of the city. The same place sold apples in the fall.

There might be a directory of farmstands, etc., in eastern Canada somewhere on the 'net.


"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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One of my friends used to live in a suburb of Hamilton, which I think is pretty far east, and she used to buy cherries for canning in the early summer from farmstands a few miles outside of the city.  The same place sold apples in the fall. 

There might be a directory of farmstands, etc., in eastern Canada somewhere on the 'net.

Hamilton may be pretty far east, but I am further east yet. And north. :wink:

I have never seen sour cherries at a farm stand in our area...we are in a different zone than Hamilton. I think that barring driving south and west, a grocery store may be my only source. And we do not have any grocery stores here like Trader Joe's or Whole Earth.


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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