Candied fruit is made from fresh fruit that has been cooked in a sugar syrup and then allowed to dry. The fruit absorbs the sugar, which preserves it. Use the candied fruit in muffins, cakes and cookies or dipped in chocolate. Using a dehydrator for the last step of the process is quicker and more effective than allowing the fruit to dry naturally. Store in airtight containers or airtight plastic bags.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Lemon, orange and grapefruit
- Vegetable peeler
- Measuring cup
- Sauce pan
- Small fruits and berries
Wash the citrus fruit. Peel the skin off the fruit without getting any of the white pith,, which is bitter. Use the fruit itself for salads or as a snack.
Cut the fruit peel into strips that are 2-inches long and 1/2-inch wide. Place 2 cups of the peel in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Drain. Repeat the process three or four times to get rid of any bitterness.
Measure the peel. For every cup of peel add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the peel has absorbed all, or nearly all, of the syrup. Remove from the heat.
Sprinkle granulated sugar in a dish. Roll each piece of the peel in the sugar. Place the peel in the dehydrator. Turn on the dehydrator. The peel should dry so it's no longer sticky to the touch. This may take as long as 24 hours or as short as 8 hours depending on the dehydrator and the air humidity. Turn the peel several times while drying.
Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. Turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Prick the small fruits such as kumquats, cranberries or grapes with a toothpick so they don't burst when submerged in the sugar syrup. Put the fruit in the cooled sugar syrup. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat. Let the fruit remain in the syrup for 45 minutes.
Remove the fruit from the syrup and place in the dehydrator. You may want to spray the dehydrator shelves or trays with cooking spray so the sugar doesn't stick.
Tips and warnings
- The candied fruit will keep for several months.
- Hot sugar syrup can result in bad burns as it gets much hotter than boiling water.
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