I decided to make the fruitcake wreath yesterday and opened up the recipe to see if I could put it together really quickly. Lo and behold, the first step is to soak the fruit in vodka for a week before starting the cake. I looked at what type of fruit I needed:
"Glacéed mixed fruit, preferably lemon and orange peel" and "glacéed red cherries."
I had to idea what "glacéed" meant but soon discovered that it means candied fruit. Then I read Rose's blurb and it said that she recommended high quality glacéed fruit from France because it tastes the best. I'm impatient and cheap so I decided to make my own candied fruit.
I kept telling myself that I was silly for taking this much time to make candied fruit when its really not that expensive to buy it anyway. What was that in economics... opportunity cost? Is my time or my money more valuable? I kept thinking that my time is but then I remembered that I have a 6 week Christmas vacation with no job and no real responsibilities. So I guess my opportunity cost is pretty low at this point. If it had been any other time in the year, or in my life, I probably would have not have taken the time.
I used the recipes from Maddie Rudd on Hub Pages and they turned out pretty great. I've included the recipes for the Glace Cherries and the Candied Peel (oranges and lemons).
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pound fresh cherries
- 1/2 fresh lemon, washed
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
Wash, stem, and pit cherries. Combine sugar and water with wire whisk in large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring regularly. Add cherries and lemon half, reduce heat to low and simmer about 20 minutes, until syrup is red and thickening. Remove from heat, transfer to covered, airtight container, and let stand several hours (or overnight). Strain cherries, reserving syrup, and discard lemon half. Combine syrup and apple juice in large (clean) saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes, add cherries, then reduce heat to low and cook until syrup is thick, around 220 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
(the corn on the cob holder worked great for coring the cherries)
- 6 large citrus fruits (orange, lemon, and/or grapefruit), peels of
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus extra
- 1 ½ cups water, plus extra
Cut tops and bottoms off of fruit, then use a knife to score into quarters and remove peel. Cut into 1/4 inch-wide strips, place in large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, drain, then cover with cold water and bring to a boil a second time. Repeat twice more with fresh water. In new saucepan, combine 4 ½ cups sugar and 1 ½ cups water with wire whisk over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer 8 or 9 minutes, around 230 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Reduce heat and add peels, simmering gently 45 minutes or until peels turn clear-ish, without stirring. (Swirl pan by handle to move peels around, if absolutely necessary.) Drain and roll in sugar, dry 4 to 5 hours before storing or using to cook.
(yes... 4.5 cups of sugar)