Sometimes some people will make a distinction between Candied Fruit, Glazed Fruit (aka Glacé Fruit) and Crystallized Fruit (aka Frosted Fruit.) The distinction is legitimate. Candied Fruit is fruit that has been candied; Glazed Fruit is fruit that has been coated or shipped in a sugar syrup, and crystallized fruit is fruit frosted with caster sugar. In general practice, however, either the term Candied Fruit or Glazed Fruit is used for all three.
The great Candied Fruits ("fruits nobles" as the French call these Candied Fruits) are figs, mandarin oranges, melons, pears, plums and pineapple. The bulk of the industry, however, is Candied Cherries.
In making Candied Fruit, it is better to use fruit that is just ripe. Dried fruit can also be used. Starting from dried fruit takes 2/3 less time, but it does need to be rehydrated first. The candying process can take 6 to 14 days, or even several months. You put whole small fruits, or chopped larger fruits, into a sugar syrup, and gradually day by day increase the strength of the sugar syrup. The sugar syrup pulls the water out of the cells in the fruit, because sugar attracts water, and the water that leaves the cells gets replaced by the sugar.
Limes cannot be candied successfully at home; an enzyme in their rind will darken them and break them down. Commercially, though, it can be done, and both candied lime slices and candied lime peel (or zest) are available.
Candied Fruit is sold in tubs and sealed boxes, mixed or as separate fruits.
Far too many people will remember the tedious job of dicing Candied Fruit for Christmas cakes. You can always try snipping them with kitchen scissors -- it won't make the job go any faster, but it does make for a change of pace. Better yet, buy the fruit diced.
Should you have fruit frosted in sugar (Crystallized Fruit) that you want to use in a recipe such as a fruitcake, you generally want to rinse the sugar off unless instructed otherwise. That seems a bit of a waste though, so it's probably better to make an effort to get Candied Fruit.
Other Candied Fruit. Not dried fruit. If you want or need to use dried fruit, look for a fruitcake recipe which calls for it. The recipe will likely have additional liquids or steps in it to compensate for the fruit being dried. Do not substitute maraschino cherries for candied cherries.
Candied Fruit is occasionally also referred to as semi-dried, or semi-moist fruit.
Candied FruitCandied Angelica; Candied Apricots; Candied Cherries; Candied Fruit; Candied Peel; Maraschino Cherries
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Crystallized Fruit; Frosted Fruit; Fruit Cake Mix; Glacé Fruit; Glazed Fruit; Fruits confits, Fruits nobles (French); Kandierte Früchte (German); Frutta candita (Italian); Fruta confitada (Spanish); Frutas em açucar (Portuguese)