© Denzil Green
Candied Cherries are the most common Candied Fruit.
They are made by soaking cherries in a sugar syrup. The sugar syrup replaces all the natural moisture in the cherries. This preserves them, making them very sweet at the same time.
Candied Cherries are often dyed with an edible artificial dye, or with red grape juice, to reinforce a jolly red colour. They also come in different colours, including natural and food dye inspired colours to make them green or yellow.
They are used in baking, especially in fruit cakes.
They generally need tedious chopping, unless you’re lucky enough to beat the Christmas rush at the stores and snag the last box of already-diced ones.
After chopping, toss them first in a bit of the flour from your recipe so that they will mix in better with other fruit or the batter without clumping.
Do not substitute maraschino cherries for Candied Cherries.
8 oz Candied Cherries = 225g = 1 cup
100g = 3 1/2 oz = 1/2 cup (generous)
Keep in sealed container for up to a year; longer if you refrigerate.
Green Candied Cherries
© Denzil Green
Candied Cherries have been made since at least the 1300s in the town of Apt, in Provence, France, where they are still a big industry. They were always a great luxury. A man named Matthew Wood was the first one to begin importing them from Apt into the UK as a consumer good in the early 1870s. Apt’s fortunes came to be tied in with the British love of Candied Cherries in their fruitcakes.
The producers in Apt, however, almost went out of business after World War II. Continued rationing in Britain meant that only essential items were still being allowed into the country, and Candied Cherries weren’t counted amongst such essentials. The producers in Apt knew that Churchill, who was still in power after the war, was very, very fond of his fruitcake. They sent a representative to Churchill, who took time to meet with him when he was told that he represented the Candied Cherries from Apt. They told him that the continued prohibition of Candied Cherry imports was going to put them out of business and that if that happened, they’d have to chop down the trees, grow something else, and he’d have to get used to having his fruitcake without the Candied Cherries in it. Churchill had a quiet word with someone, and the cherries began flowing into Britain again.