21 February 2010

The mysterious art of glazing fruit.

I have this wonderful fruit cake recipe that I sometimes make for special celebrations. Why only 'sometimes'?  Well, it's always been extremely difficult to find the variety and quality of glazed fruit the recipe calls for. 

Quality?  Yes, quality.  Most of the glazed cherries we buy in the shops today leave a lot to be desired.  We get excellent glazed ginger and pineapple in Sydney, but buying glazed oranges,kumquats and figs is difficult to say the least. 

Sure, I can buy dried figs.  I can even buy organic dried figs (which means there is no sulphur added), but to buy glazed fruit I have to be sure that I visit a gourmet farmers market or make the trip into Paddy's Markets in Haymarket.

So, I decided to make my own glazed oranges this time around.  I didn't have long to do it as I really needed to get my fruit chopped up and soaking.  This cake is HUGE and it takes a lot of work to prepare the fruit. 

I found a jiffy recipe for Candied Orange Slices on The Repressed Pastry Chef blog and I followed the instructions easily.  The finished product is quite delicious and I was happy to use it this time around.

However, I have decided that glazing is fun!  So I plan to make a batch of glazed fruit the 'old fashioned' way. I found a great recipe on OChef which should give me the type and quality of 'glazing' I am looking for.  It's a long process, but I reckon it will be worth the time and effort in the end.

I just have to be sure that I stop 'tasting' my wares along the way.  The oranges were so delicious I had a major will power battle on my hands.

I'll let you know how my cake baking goes.  The ingredients get mixed and the cakes get baked tomorrow. Sixteen eggs, 1 kilogram of butter, 1.5kgs of flour...  thank goodness I have a seriously HUGE pot to mix it all together in. 

April Blackbird

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