Disguised Fruits

Add a touch of elegance and tradition to your end of year celebrations with a plate of exquisite disguised fruits! These bite-sized desserts are a classic treat that have been enjoyed for generations. Picture a stunning platter filled with an array of dried fruits, each stuffed with a decadent marzipan filling and expertly coated in a shimmering crystallized confectionary shell. The result is a delightful combination of flavors and textures that is sure to impress your guests. As we gather together with our loved ones during this festive season, I am reminded of my early days as an apprentice pastry chef. Apprenticeship started at a young age for me, and at 14 years old, I would already be hard at work by 4 am. A few weeks before Christmas, it was the apprentices' responsibility to create these exquisite disguised fruits, which were incredibly popular throughout Europe. If you're looking to create some special memories with your children during the Christmas holidays, making disguised fruits is the perfect activity. Not only will it bring a sense of joy and creativity to your kitchen, but it will also delight your little ones as they participate in the process. It's a great opportunity to teach them about the art of confectionery and the importance of tradition. One important thing to note is that disguised fruits require some advance planning. It's best to make them a week ahead of time, as this allows the flavors to develop and the confectionary shell to fully crystallize. This also means that you won't have to worry about last-minute preparations during the busy holiday season. To create these delectable treats, you'll need a variety of dried fruits such as dates, figs, apricots, and prunes. The marzipan (choose high quality) filling adds a sweet and creamy element to each bite.

Disguised Fruits

Course: confectionnery
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Agrimontana, candies, fruits déguisés, marzipan
Prep Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 50
Calories: 90kcal
Cost: $25
Fruits déguisés
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • 1 Very large cake pan or candissoire
  • 1 Cooling rack
  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Baking tray

Ingredients

Dry Fruits

  • 100 g Dattes
  • 100 g Prune/pruneaux
  • 100 g Dry apricots
  • 100 g Walnuts
  • 100 g Pine nuts, toasted

Syrup

  • 1000 g Water
  • 2000 g Granulated sugar

Instructions

Almond Paste / Marzipan vs Massepain

  • Disguised fruits are actually fruits filled with almond paste. Many dried fruit can be used: dattes, prunes, cherries, apricots, figs, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, and so forth. In the past, they were also used to decorate the Christmas tree along with oranges. We generally think that “marzipan” is the name of almond paste, in reality “marzipan” is the name of the figurines made from almond paste: marzipan dough. Also, marzipan (décor) contains 70% sugar while ''almond paste" which is generally selected for confiserie and refined cakes, is made with 50% almond/sugar. A name of Italian origin whose etymology is of Italian origin, marzapane which successively became marcepain then marzipan. Marzipan used per fruit should not exceed 4 ounces/12g.
    almond paste

Candied, Caramelized or Rolled in Sugar?

  • Originally, fruits déguisés are candied. They are soaked in a bath of concentrated sugar syrup. It is a fairly long process which allows disguised fruits to be coated with a thin layer of sugar called “candi” – the name of this technique – giving them an incomparable shine and crunch in addition to significantly prolonging their conservations. Disguised fruits can also be coated in cooked sugar (320ºF/160ºC). In this case the syrup must contains glucose or corn syrup. This technique is more time consuming, and subject to humidity. Lastly, disguised fruits can be rolled in granulated sugar. An easy shortcut – however, this faux candi effect wont last.

Pine Nuts Disguised Fruits

  • Toast pine nuts, and reserve. Roll out marzipan into a log, and cut it into 10 equal portions (10g each). Coat marzipan with pine nuts firmly. Repeat until done. Nuts can also be mixed into the marzipan and portioned afterwards.
    pine nuts disguised fruit

Walnut Disguised Fruits

  • Marzipan for walnut may be flavored with coffee extract, rum or thinly chopped lemon confit. Look up for poached and candied lemon recipes. Mix 70g marzipan with 40g chopped lemon confit (to taste). Form into a log and cut into 10 equal portions. Shape into small logs and stick walnut halve on each side. Repeat until done.
    walnut disguised fruits

Dattes Disguised Fruits

  • Flavor 100g marzipan with rum or cognac if desired. Form into a log and cut into 10 portions. Shape into small logs and stuff dattes. Mark marzipan with the back of a knife is desired. Repeat until done.
    dattes disguised fruit

Apricot Disguised Fruits

  • Marzipan may be flavored with pastis, rum or armagnac. Follow the same procedure as shown for the dattes.
    apricot disguised fruits

Pruneaux Disguised Fruits

  • Marzipan may be flavored with rum or armagnac.
    pruneaux disguised fruits

Syrup

  • In a large saucepan, heat up water first and add sugar stirring every so often making sure the sugar is completely dissolved before syrup boils. Cook for 3 minutes, turn the heat off and leave syrup on the stovetop for a few hours to cool. Use syrup at 95ºF/35ºC.
    syrup for disguised syrup

Candying Procedure

  • Arrange stuffed fruits on a cooling wire rack, and let them drying out for up to 48 hours at room temperature. For the candying procedure, use a large device that is 2.4-inch/6cm tall. Place the cooling wire rack, and arrange fruits leaving a free space between each of them. Cover with lightly perforated parchment paper. Top with a second cooling wire rack or a similar device such as large tamis. Place the whole thing in a safe place that is free of any vibrations. Pour the lukewarm syrup in a thin stream making sure stuffed fruits won't have a chance to move around. Leave it untouched for 48 hours.
    stuffed dry fruits
  • Carefully remove the top rack and parchment. Grab the wire rack and drain disguised fruits. If the crystallization around the fruit has not been achieved properly, the candying procedure shall be renewed. Sieve syrup, and rewarm it at 95ºF/35ºC and repeat the candying procedure for 24 to 48 more hours. Disguised fruits can be kept for approximately 6 weeks at room temperature. Enjoy!
    candied disguised fruits

Nutrition

Serving: 35g | Calories: 90kcal

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