Candied strawberries are a delicious treat that you can enjoy all year round. They are perfect for adding a touch of sweetness to any dessert or snack, especially during special occasions like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.
Making candied strawberries is easy and takes less than an hour! First, wash some fresh strawberries and hull them if you prefer. Next, add 2 cups of granulated white sugar, ½ cup of water, and ¼ cup of light corn syrup into a saucepan at 305 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a spatula to stir the syrup until fully dissolved. Finally, dip the strawberries into the sugar syrup and wait for the coating to harden.
Strawberries are a winter fruit, but you can find them in the market throughout the year. So, it is vital to pick the freshest strawberries for the best results. Follow these tips to pick fresh strawberries every time:
Tip #1: Choose strawberries with a deep red color, free of blemishes and white spots.
Tip #2: Ripe strawberries will have a sweet scent, so give them a quick sniff!
Tip #3: If you do not plan to use the strawberries soon, try to sample them before buying to make sure they are sweet. Strawberries in storage will get redder over time, but not any sweeter.
Tip #4: Avoid soft strawberries. Instead, buy strawberries that feel firm.
The recipe in this guide uses 12 large strawberries, but you can use as many strawberries as you want for candying. Ensure that you properly clean strawberries, as they are among the top offenders in the Dirty Dozen list.
The most critical factor in candying fruit is reaching the correct temperatures. If the sugar mixture is too hot, it will turn hard and brittle. Otherwise, the syrup will become sticky and gooey if it is not hot enough. A candy thermometer will keep track of the temperature, so your candied fruit ends up perfect.
After you dip your strawberries in the sugar syrup, you need a nonstick surface to let the strawberries cool until their coating hardens. Silpat mats come in handy for this, but you can also use parchment paper.
To prepare the strawberries, thoroughly wash and dry the strawberries. You may also hull the strawberries if you prefer. Once dry, insert toothpicks or skewers into the strawberries so you can safely dip them in the hot sugar syrup.
Add 2 cups of granulated white sugar, ½ cup of water, and ¼ cup of light corn syrup into a heavy-bottomed saucepan to make sugar syrup. Attach a candy thermometer and heat the saucepan up to 305 degrees Fahrenheit. While it heats up, stir the syrup with a silicone spatula to distribute the heat evenly and dissolve the sugar.
Once the sugar syrup has reached 305 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the heat and let the syrup rest for a minute. Next, use the toothpicks to dip all your strawberries into the syrup. You need to coat all your strawberries with syrup quickly, or else the syrup will start to harden. If you have excess sugar syrup on your strawberries, roll the toothpick a few times to get rid of it.
Finally, place the coated strawberries on a Slipat mat or parchment paper and let it cool until its sugar coating has hardened. If you want more flavor to your candied strawberries, try adding a few drops of vanilla extract or orange and lemon zest.
Candied strawberries do not last long in storage. You should consume them within 4-5 hours of making them. If necessary, you can place them in an airtight container lined with wax paper and store them in the refrigerator.
However, as time passes, the sugar coating will soften, and your candied strawberries will end up in a puddle of sugar syrup. Even in the fridge, candied strawberries will last no more than a day.
You can add candied strawberries to make cakes look even more beautiful. Ensure you remove all toothpicks and strawberry leaves before arranging them atop your cakes. You must also add the candied strawberries within a few hours of serving, or else the sugar syrup coating will lose its integrity.
If you want to indulge in a super sweet treat, candied strawberries make a guilt-free snack! You can enjoy it after dinner, treat others on special occasions, and serve it to elevate any event.
It is best to use corn syrup when candying fruit because it prevents crystals from forming in the sugar syrup and creates a smooth, glossy texture. However, you can replace corn syrup with honey, cane syrup, maple syrup, and brown rice syrup and achieve similar results.
Candied strawberries can be safely refrigerated after storing them in an airtight container lined with parchment paper. However, they will last no more than a day in the fridge, so consuming them within 4-5 hours is best.
Macerated strawberries are strawberries sweetened by soaking them in a liquid or sugar. Strawberries are macerated when they are not ripe or sweet enough and can be macerated in liquor, fruit juice, and sugar syrup.
Candied strawberries typically do not harden when the sugar syrup fails to reach the correct temperature. You can use a candy thermometer to monitor the sugar syrup’s temperature accurately. Alternatively, the sugar syrup may have cooled down too much before coating them on the strawberries.
Candied strawberries are easy to make, and they are a sweeter way to enjoy strawberries. They can elevate special occasions by serving them in cakes, or you can enjoy them after dinner. However, they do not last long and must be consumed within a few hours.
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