Glacé Cherries and Other Fruits
The steps for processing glacé fruit are as follows:
- Blanching (and bleaching in the case of cherries): Bleaching cherries is done mainly to give them a uniform colour and also to enable the manufacturer to offer different colours.
- Boiling in a sugar syrup consisting of 30% glucose and 70% sucrose: The sugar concentration is increased gradually, from a 14% sugar level to close to 70%.
- The presence of glucose in the syrup prevents crystallization in the finished product. The sugar content is responsible for preservation.
Glacé peel, which is made from the rind of oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, goes through the same process as glacé fruit. Glacé peel is a by-product in the manufacturing of fruit juices, and is sold as candied lemon or orange peel, or mixed candied peel.
There are many different varieties of glacé fruits under many different brand names on the market. They vary in price according to their mix, the more expensive ones consisting mainly of fruit and cherries while the cheaper ones containing a lot of peel and increasing amounts of candied rutabaga. The cheapest variety of “peel” consists entirely of diced rutabaga.
Other Candied Products
Angelika, used more in Europe than in North America, is the stem of a rhubarb-like plant. When fresh, the candied stem is a pleasant green and is cut into thin diamonds to simulate leaves on pastries and cakes. Mentioned earlier in this book was the marrons glacés, an expensive item and in the showcase of every fine pastry shop in Italy. Flower petals such as rose and violet have syrup dribbled over them to preserve them and to make a beautiful and unusual decoration on petits fours.