The History of Glacé Fruit
The tradition of preserving fruits in sugar dates back centuries, with glacé fruit emerging as the refined version that the Romans did with preserving pears and grapes in honey for the winter.
The first recognisable glacé technique originated in France during the 14th century and it was considered a symbol of luxury and sophistication. By slowly replacing the fruits' natural moisture with sugar, it resulted in a glossy, jewel-like appearance and a concentrated burst of natural flavour.
Modern production process
Creating glacé fruit is a meticulous process that requires skill and patience. The fruits chosen for this process are often citrus peels and cherries which are carefully selected based on flavour. The fruits are then blanched to remove any bitterness and to soften the peel. After blanching, they are soaked in sugar syrup, gradually absorbing the sweetness while maintaining their shape.
Being immersed in the syrup occurs over several days, allowing the fruit to slowly take on the sugar, creating a delicate balance between sweetness and the fruit's natural essence. After this, they are removed from the syrup, dried, and coated in a layer of crystallised sugar which gives them their characteristic glaze.
Presentation is key
Glacé fruit's aesthetic appeal is as significant as its taste. The vibrancy adds a pop of colour to any dessert or pastry and the sheer number of dishes they can be used in is endless!
The craftsmanship that goes into making glacé fruit has stood the test of time, and it has been a staple in so many sweet treats and desserts all over the world. So, the next time you bite into a slice of fruitcake or have a spoonful of fruit salad, take a moment to appreciate the artistry behind the makings of the glacé fruit!