Strongly flavored fruits such as apricots, cherries, mangoes, paw-paw, peaches, pineapple, plums and slightly under-ripe pears are the best choice for crystallizing. You can also treat orange, lemon and grapefruit peel, and chestnuts, in the same way. Soft fruits such as berries, kiwifruit and melon are not suitable because they contain too much water and will break up and become mushy. Equally, the large amount of juice in whole oranges and lemons causes them to collapse easily, which makes them difficult to crystallize at home, but tiny kumquat can be preserved by this method.
You can use either canned or fresh fruit but canned fruit is easier to handle, with the exception of canned plums, which soften and disintegrate during the process.
Fresh fruit must be in perfect condition. The first step is to poach it lightly in sugar syrup until just tender. The second stage is to make a crystallizing syrup from the cooking water and then the process is the same as for canned fruit. It needs to be steeped for two to three days longer than canned fruit. Because fresh fruit can break up during the process, it is harder to see when enough sugar has been absorbed so the soaking may be stopped too soon, in which case the fruit could go mouldy.
** Asian Online Recipes