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Retaining the color of candied fruit


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Although I can make wonderful candied citrus (orange, lemon, kumquat), I've had no luck with cherries--and in the future strawberries and other non-citrus fruits. I've seen the latter in the best Paris chocolate shops and they are beautiful--red, round, luscious looking.

Is the reason that they add ascorbic acid to the process? I've seen this on canned fruit ingredients: "ascorbic acid (to retain color)" on a can of peaches, for example. If this is what to do, can anyone tell me the amount needed, and where in the process it is added?

Many thanks,

Chris

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Hello Chris,

I am not going to be able to give you an answer but more want to ask a question...Could you describe the process to make candied orange peel(or other flavors) with instructions and ingredients? I've always wanted to try but never have!

Thanks Chris and have a great day,

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Hello Chris,

I am not going to be able to give you an answer but more want to ask a question...Could you describe the process to make candied orange peel(or other flavors) with instructions and ingredients? I've always wanted to try but never have!

Thanks Chris and have a great day,

The process has been detailed in this thread: Candied Citrus Peel

and there are links to recipes, methods &etc.

"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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As someone who tries to keep use of food coloring to a minimum, but sometimes desires red, I have also been frustrated with attempts to candy cherries. I thought blood orange rinds would provide the bright red I was after but it washed away with the initial blanchings I put it through and i ended up with orange. So much for being clever. The only thing I've had luck with is cranberries. Even then my first attempts were less than successful - they retained their bright color but not their shape, as they exploded even when barely simmered in syrup. However I improvised a technique I am happy with -

Inadvertently finding myself with a quart of asian pear syrup (I made a batch of jelly but it didn't jell) i thought cranberries might be good candied in it. Wary of exploding them, I put both in a shallow baking pan, threw in a couple of cinnamon sticks as well, and put it in my gas oven, which has a rather hot pilot light. The berries were in a single layer, but not submerged, so every couple hours I shook the pan to roll them around. After a half-day and overnight, they were plumped with syrup, but still intact, and tasted wonderful. I drained the syrup off, let them get tacky, and rolled them in superfine sugar. Here's how i used them last Christmas, on a Pandoro (amongst candied meyer lemon stars, green tea marzipan holly leaves, and whipped mascarpone):

gallery_8512_4054_19580.jpg

to clarify: the oven was off, but my pilot light is hotter than usual. A plain sugar syrup will work, of course, in the event you don't have a failed batch of jelly around, and I usually add a drizzle of corn syrup in the last few hours to deter crystallization.

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I wonder.....

What would happen if "natural" food colouring was used in the syrups--I.E. Beet juice?

Then it will taste like beets.

Ascorbic acid will prevents discoloration due to oxidization only. Color change due to heating is another issue and the ascorbic acid won't help.

I have never seen candied cherries that are red and don't contain food colors. Strawberries, which you also mentioned happen to stay red when cooked so they wouldn't be a problem...

EDIT: The amount of ascorbic acid you would need to prevent browning due to oxidization would be in the range of 0.4-0.8%, it is cold soluble and requires no shearing so it is pretty user friendly.

Edited by Sethro (log)
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I don't have a color problem when I candy cherries -- they come out a very dark red, however, not a bright orangey-red.

I blanche the cherries for a few minutes. Less is better, I think.

I have read that including corn syrup in with the sugar bath retards the color change. I've also heard of people adding coloring agents. I've never done it -- I've sorely wanted to, but I've had batches that are brown and then turn red by the end of the candying process.

That cake above is absolutely heavenly looking, especially the cranberries. I tried candying cranberries this year and they didn't come out very nice. Very sticky. I'll try your method.

Commercial candied cherries are bleached and dyed, hence their nearly clear color.

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

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Commercial candied cherries are bleached and dyed, hence their nearly clear color.

Bleached??? I thought they were just yellow Queen Annes, and the transparency was a result of the cooking process.

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ascorbic acid is just vitamin c, so it's not a scarry chemical, but it is "processed". lemon juice also prevents fading and it comes from trees :cool:

I bet if you used complementary syrups like raspberry for the strawberries, you'd be able to augment the color without using something like beets which would make your berries taste like dirt! (believe me, I tried it on rhubarb)

Edited by sugarseattle (log)

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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I wonder.....

What would happen if "natural" food colouring was used in the syrups--I.E. Beet juice?

Then it will taste like beets.

Ascorbic acid will prevents discoloration due to oxidization only. Color change due to heating is another issue and the ascorbic acid won't help.

I have never seen candied cherries that are red and don't contain food colors. Strawberries, which you also mentioned happen to stay red when cooked so they wouldn't be a problem...

EDIT: The amount of ascorbic acid you would need to prevent browning due to oxidization would be in the range of 0.4-0.8%, it is cold soluble and requires no shearing so it is pretty user friendly.

You're probably right. I was musing about this because a number of Swiss yoghurts (Toni and Emmi come to mind) list beet juice as an ingredient in thier stawberry and raspberry varities

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There's a whole History of Cherries in the brandied cherries thread. This all came about because of Prohibition. One could no longer put a brandied cherry anywhere, so one needed a substitute. Hence the birth of the maraschino cherry and it's cousins as we know them.

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

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