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Fresh Peach Candy

Fresh Peach Candy makes an excellent summer delight. Peaches are not only great fresh fruit but also fantastic when added to desserts, ice creams, parfaits and cakes. Fresh Peach Candy is made with ripe peaches that are blended smoothly along with little lime juice to give that zing, sugar added for sweetness and liquid pectin mixed to form a jelly like soft and smooth peach candy which just melts in your mouth.

Peach is native to China, where it was first cultivated and the fruit is edible and juicy. The species name persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia, from whence it was transplanted to Europe. It is classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell. It belongs to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae.

Peach has yellow or whitish flesh with delicate aroma, and a skin that is either velvety (peaches) or smooth (nectarines) in different cultivars. The flesh is very delicate and easily bruised in some cultivars, but is fairly firm in some commercial varieties, especially when green. The single, large seed is red-brown, oval shaped, approximately 1.3–2 cm long, and is surrounded by a wood-like husk. Peaches, along with cherries, plums and apricots, are stone fruits (drupes).

There are various heirloom varieties, including the Indian peach, which arrives in the latter part of the summer. Peaches are at their best during summer and are the essence of fresh, healthy and delicious. Peaches are low in calories, contain no sodium or cholesterol and offer a good helping of vitamins and antioxidants which are thought to protect the body from aging, heart disease and some cancers.

These summer fruits are beautiful to look at and to serve. Toss some in your morning yogurt or breakfast cereal, bake some into a pie or tart, experiment with savoury recipes for main dishes or sides, or merely eat them on the go, juice running down your chin and, without a doubt, a grin on your face. Peach and escarole salad is a very healthy, delicious and nutritious dish that most of us must taste.

Candy is a wonderful confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water with flavourings and colorants added to it. There are a variety of candies that come in numerous colours and varieties and have a long history in popular culture. Candies are broadly categorized into candy bars, chocolates, licorice, sour candies, salty candies, tart candies, hard candies, toffees, gumdrops, marshmallows and many more. Vegetables, fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied.

In India, a sweetmeat made with sugar and peanut is a popular candy commonly called as chikkiDandy Candy is another amazing simple homemade candy that kids would love to eat. In North America, Australia, NZ and the UK, the word "lollipop" refers specifically to sugar candy with flavoring on a stick. Candy is made by dissolving sugar in water or milk to form a syrup, which is boiled until it reaches the desired concentration or starts to caramelize.

The type of candy depends on the ingredients and how long the mixture is boiled. Candy comes in a wide variety of textures, from soft and chewy to hard and brittle. Some examples are: caramel candy, toffee, fudge, praline, tablet, gumdrops, jelly beans, rock candy, lollipops, taffy, cotton candy, candy canes, peppermint sticks, peanut brittle, chocolate-coated raisins or peanuts, hard candy (called boiled sweets in British English) and candy bars.

The final texture of candy depends on the sugar concentration. As the syrup is heated, it boils, water evaporates, the sugar concentration increases, and the boiling point rises. A given temperature corresponds to a particular sugar concentration. In general, higher temperatures and greater sugar concentrations result in hard, brittle candies, and lower temperatures result in softer candies.

Some candy, including marshmallows and gummi bears, contain gelatin derived from animal collagen, a protein found in skin and bones, and is thus avoided by vegetarians and vegans. Other substances, such as agar, pectin, starch and gum arabic may also be used as setting and gelling agents, and can be used in place of gelatin.

Fresh Peach Candy is actually a candy and not a dessert. It is supposed to be an extraordinarily indulgent bite, enjoyed in small amounts only on certain very rare and special occasions. This is an old fashioned, handcrafted candy that takes a little time and finesse to pull off. It’s simple and sweet, but looks and tastes like something you’re only supposed to enjoy a few times a year. This candy has an intensified fruit flavour with a jellied texture.

For preparing this soft and fresh peach candy, firstly in the blender, put in 1 pound ripe peaches cut into chunks, add 1 tablespoon lime juice and puree it until it becomes very smooth. Pour the peach lime puree in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, add a portion of the sugar (1/2 cup of sugar) and cook this for 15 minutes until thickened on medium high heat.

This is basically cooked until the water is evaporated and forms a thick paste. Add the rest of the sugar (1 ½ cups granulated sugar) and stir until it dissolves and then add in 3 tablespoons liquid pectin which actually gives that jelly texture and bring this to simmer and cook at 205 degrees for 10 minutes stirring continuously.

Turn off the heat. Add little food colour that gives the candy a rich deeper peach colour and then pour this mixture into a plastic wrap 8” by 8” baking dish and just shake it gently. Cover and chill overnight until firm. Remove and dust the top and bottom with granulated sugar and cut into equal sized pieces and serve. If you are a fruit lover and love eating nice ripe peaches, then give this recipe a try and experience the flavours of fresh fruits in the form of candy.

Enjoy Cooking!

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