Also called Tanghulu, these Candied Fruits are sweet, fruity, delicious, and pretty. Juicy strawberries, grapes, or tangerine wedges are coated in a hardened sugar syrup that forms a sweet crunchy shell around the fruit.
This candied fruit snack is a popular street food in sections of Northern China. You wouldn’t believe how simple it is to make beautiful candied fruit with just three ingredients.
What is Candied Fruit / Tanghulu?
Tanghulu is a traditional Chinese fruit snack loved by children and adults alike. Fruits like strawberries or grapes are coated in a thick, sugary syrup. Once allowed to cool, the sugar coating hardens immediately, creating an irresistible crunchy shell around the fruit.
What Is Candied Fruit Made Of?
- Fruit: Best fruits to use include strawberries, grapes, and tangerine wedges. Blueberries are another tasty option.
- Granulated Sugar: White granulated sugar is the best type of sugar for this recipe. This kind of sugar creates a beautiful glossy, clear coating for your candied fruit.
- Corn Syrup: This is the secret ingredients in this recipe. It helps to make that crispy and nice texture of the sugar coating.
- Cold Water: You’ll want to use chilled (cold) water for this recipe.
- Bamboo Skewers
How to Make Candied Fruit
1. Wash the fruit thoroughly with cold water. Pat dry COMPLETELY with paper towels.
2. Run a bamboo skewer through a few pieces of fruit at a time. You can vary the type of fruit as you please.
3. Into a saucepan, add the sugar, corn syrup, and water.
4. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and stir gently until the sugar melts and eventually boils.
5. Turn off the heat, tilt the saucepan slightly, and immediately use the skewer to submerge each piece of fruit into the mixture just long enough to coat the fruit.
6. Make sure to coat the fruit end to end, and set aside to cool on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.
Tips for Making the Best Candied Fruit
- Use a heavy 4-quart saucepan: The liquid should only fill the pan 1/3 to avoid the risk of boiling over.
- Make sure to dry your fruits completely before dipping.
- Avoid burns: Never touch the syrup and use gloves or oven mitts.
- Do not stir: Avoid stirring the syrup while boiling, as it could trigger crystallization and make it harden rapidly. Instead, gently swirl the mixture in the pan.
- Move quickly before the liquid candy hardens.
- Make sure to coat the end of the fruits, especially for strawberries. Otherwise, the hot candy will soften the strawberries, causing the juice to come out from the end.
What Does Candied Fruit Taste Like?
The candy shell is hard and crunchy and makes a satisfying crack as you bite into it. It’s a sweet and decadent introduction to the juicy fruit below.
- Chinese Tanghulu: Traditional Chinese tanghulu is made with hawthorn berries – small red berries with a tart, tangy taste. The hawthorn berries are dipped in a thick, sugary syrup that cools to create a crunch, hard candy shell.
- Candied Orange Peel: Strips of orange peel are cooked in a sugary syrup until they’re soft and chewy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Fruits Are Suitable for Tanghulu Candied Fruit?
The Tanghulu recipe will work with almost any fruit! Popular options include strawberries, grapes, blueberries and pineapple chunks.
What is Candied Fruit Used For?
Candied fruit can be served as a healthy alternative to more decadent desserts like cake or ice cream. Tanghulu will always do well at kids’ events, though it can lead to some sticky fingers.
How Long Does Candied Fruit Last?
When stored in the fridge, your candied fruit can last up to two weeks. Keep a stash in your fridge as a sweet treat for yourself or your kids.
Note: Do NOT leave your candied fruit tanghulu at room temperature as the sugar will melt.
Is Candied Fruit Bad for You?
Of course, the sugary shell isn’t the healthiest thing you can eat, but you’re still getting in some fruit. In the world of desserts, candied fruit is the healthy-ish middle ground between a chocolate cake and a fibre muffin.
Is Glazed Fruit the Same as Candied Fruit?
Yes, glazed fruit is another name for candied fruit. Both names described fruit encased in a sweet, hard and shiny shell.
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How to Make Candied Fruit Recipe (Tanghulu)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 cups fruits of your choice you can use strawberries, grapes, tangerine wedges (see note)
- Bamboo Skewers
Prepare the Sugar Water Mixture
- Wash the fruit thoroughly with cold water. Cut the green leaves off if using strawberries. Pat dry COMPLETELY with paper towels.
- Arrange several pieces of fruit on a bamboo skewer. Set aside. (Do not add too many pieces as it might be difficult to coat all of them if your saucepan is not deep enough.)
- Add the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat.
- Stir gently to help the sugar to melt.
- Once the sugar has mostly melted, stop stirring and bring it to a boil.
- Place a candy thermometer into the pot if available.
- Continue boiling until the temperature reaches 320°F (hard crack stage), about 5 to 10 minutes. When you don’t have a thermometer, dip a teaspoon into cold water and then into the mixture. If it hardens immediately, then the temperature is correct.
Coating the Fruit
- Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat (preferred) or parchment.
- Once the temperature reaches 320°F, turn off the heat.
- Tilt the saucepan slightly. Immediately use the skewer to submerge each piece of fruit into the mixture just long enough to coat the fruit. Make sure to coat the end of the fruit. (Otherwise, the hot candy will soften the strawberries, causing the juice to come out from the end.)
- Shake off the excess liquid sugar.
- Remove the fruit to the prepared baking sheet.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Fruit Selection: Suitable fruits include strawberries, grapes, tangerine or clementine wedges. For candied fruit peel, you need to place the pieces of peel in boiling water for 15 minutes to soften before starting this recipe.
- Safety: Boiling sugar is extremely hot and can cause serious burns. Always use a large enough saucepan so that it never exceeds 1/3 full. Never touch the liquid directly and be sure to use gloves or oven mitts when handling the pot.
- Boiling: Never stir the sugar water mixture, as doing so can cause crystals to form and solidify the mixture. Instead, you can gently swirl the liquid around the pot to wash down crystals that may form on the edges.
- Storage: Store candied fruit for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.