Glace fruits, also known as candied fruits, date back centuries. They were first produced in various countries in Europe, particularly in Italy, and turning fresh fruit into glace fruit was the best way to preserve fruits for off-season use. You may be particularly familiar with glace fruit in desserts since there are many desserts which make use of it – from the popular mince pie to favourites such as stollen and pannetone, glace fruits are well known. But nowadays, glace fruits are used for other dishes and food products as well. Here’s what you need to know about how glace fruits are produced – and how you can optimise them for your food business.
The basic info
As mentioned, glace fruit is also known as candied fruit, although it can also be referred to as crystallised fruit. Glace fruit is commonly used for the making of cakes and desserts. Glace fruits are utilised for the making of bread as well, although they can be eaten as is. Whilst cherries are a highly popular type of glace fruit, other popular and widely used glace fruits include apricots, peaches, citrus fruits (lemon peel, orange peel, etc.), dates, pears, figs, and pineapples.
How glace fruits look and taste
Glace fruits have a bright colour, highly reminiscent of the original fruit which was made into candied fruit. In other words, even if the fruit has already been ‘candied’ you can still easily recognise which fruit it is, whether it’s apricot, cherry, lemon, orange, pear, and so on. The only difference between the look of glace fruit and fresh fruit is that glace fruit has a kind of translucent coating which is made from sugar which gives glace fruit a shinier look and appearance. The taste of glace fruit is often sweeter than the original fresh fruit, and it has a different texture as well.
The process of production
Glace fruit is produced by cooking fresh fruit in a mixture of sugar and water (essentially a syrup) for several days. After a few days, the fruit has a softer consistency and becomes sweeter. The process of producing glace fruit includes different phases of boiling as well as soaking in the syrup mixture. The syrup’s concentration will increasingly become higher, and the concentration can range from as low as 30% to as high as 75%. The process of crystallisation involves washing and peeling the fruit as well as removing the cores and seeds.
Where to use it
Glace fruit is highly versatile and can be used for desserts, and it can also be used for breads. But other than this, glace fruit can be used for granola and energy bars and snacks as well as breakfast food such as oatmeal. Some innovative chefs have also made use of glace fruits for beverages and cocktail drinks.