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Low-Carb Candied Fruit

Candying is a lengthy process. The idea is to remove the liquid from fruit and replace it with large amounts of sugar. This also makes the candied fruit keep well.Low carb KandierenWe didn't use sugar, of course, but our low-carb substitute erythritol (sold as Sukrin, Erythritol, Sucolin, or Xucker Light). The first problem is that erythritol isn't cheap, and for candying you'll need a relatively large amount of it. To make one batch we needed about 1 kg_(2 pound) of Xucker Light. At a price of up to 20 € per kg, this gets expensive fast. However, we discovered in hindsight that not all the erythritol was needed: we were able to recover about half of it by drying. This dried sugar paste, enriched with the flavors of oranges, lemons, and plums, makes a fantastic base for other Christmas baking.

Candied Fruit

1 kg_(2 pounds)erythritol_(brand names: Sukrin, Sucolin, Xucker Light)
1 literwater

The actual candying process takes a total of 4 days. We used our asparagus pot, since it isn't too big and has a nice wire mesh basket. (The basket is really handy, but it should fit closely into the pot, and the pot shouldn't be too large. Otherwise you'll have to use more erythritol.) For our first attempt we used 2 oranges, 2 lemons, and 25 plums. First, the peels of the oranges and lemons should be poked with a needle - the more holes you make, the better. We poked at least 20-30 holes over a thumb-sized area of the peel. Then cut the oranges and lemons into 1-cm-thick slices. Cut the plums in half and remove the pits. Then put the plum halves and citrus slices into the wire basket, making sure that there's enough room for the liquid to cover everything but not so much room that we'll have to use extra liquid. Now dissolve 1 kg_(2 pound) Erythritol by heating it in 1 liter of water. When it's done you should no longer see any crystals, just a clear colorless liquid. Let the sugar solution cool to about 100° F ( 40° C) and pour it over the wire basket of fruit in the pot. Cover and let stand for 1 day.

Low carb KandierenI had some trouble removing the basket from the pot the next day, because big sugar crystals had formed on everything. Carefully remove the fruit from the basket. Brush off loose crystals and return them to the pot. Now heat the sugar solution again. The wire basket can briefly go back into the pot so that the crystals will come off the mesh.

Keep the sugar solution on the stove over low heat for another 1 1/2 hours to evaporate the water. On the second day, let everything cool very briefly (to approx. 60° C) and then return it to the fruit basket.

Day 3 is exactly the same as Day 2. It should be getting more difficult to coat the fruit with the sugar solution, since we have less liquid every day. Everything should still be completely covered.

On the fourth day the candying solution has been cooked down to a viscous mass. At this point we stopped using our asparagus pot. Instead, we layered the fruit in a porcelain dish and poured the uncooled sugar mixture over it. (Careful: when cooking, the sugar can reach a temperature of more than 110° C.) After a further 24 hours, we can take our fruit - now completely saturated with low-carb sugar - and dry it in the oven at 120° F ( 50° C) for 4-5 hours. Set the bowl with the still-moist sugar residue on top of the stove to recover the excess sugar alcohol.

Low carb KandierenThe candied fruits are now ready and can be used for our stollen. Remember: while we usually throw away orange and lemon peels, the peels on these candied fruit slices can be eaten and are especially tasty. The remaining fruit-infused sugar alcohol can be used for glazes, as a sweetener, or as part of a wonderful honey substitute.

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