Have you ever wanted to sugar fruit for a special occasion but were a little wary of using egg whites or weren’t sure it would turn out correctly? Fear no more friends. I found a quick and easy recipe for sugaring fruit that does not involve egg whites!
For the groom’s cake at my wedding last year, I really wanted sugared fruit as the main decoration. I had run across this Martha Stewart groom’s cake picture and fell in love with the idea (Who doesn’t love a good Martha Stewart idea?).
I decided to research how to sugar fruit when my wedding cake baker told me he had never sugared fruit for a cake before , and he didn’t think he could do it for health reasons. So, I went to work researching various ways to sugar fruit without using egg whites.
The recipe I found and ended up using for my wedding involved only three ingredients besides fruit: 1) meringue power 2) water and 3) sugar. I was so relieved it was not going to be an expensive and tedious task! So, I practiced sugaring fruit a few times prior to my wedding and since it turned out well each time, I told my cake baker I would provide the sugared fruit for the cake. About two days prior to the wedding, I washed the fruit and sugared it. I didn’t refrigerate it because I had read that once the fruit has been sugared it should not be refrigerated.
Here is the recipe I have used to sugar fruit:
Estimated sugaring time: 30 minutes
Estimated drying time: 4-6 hours
1) 1/3 cup of meringue powder (available at craft stores, like Michaels)
2) 4 tablespoons of water
3) sugar as needed (approximately 8 ounces will cover 10 large pieces of fruit)
Wash your fruit, dry it, and set aside. Stir the meringue powder and water together in a small to medium bowl. Spread the meringue powder and water mixture over a piece of fruit (I have used pastry brushes or basting brushes to spread it in the past. I have seen where others have used paint brushes.). Once the piece of fruit is covered in the mixture, sprinkle sugar over the fruit while holding the fruit by the stem or on the ends. You may want to pour the sugar in a small bowl for easy access to it while sugaring. Repeat for each piece of fruit. Let the fruit dry on wax paper or a cooling rack for approximately 4-6 hours.
Don’t refrigerate the fruit once it has been sugared. The sugared fruit should be usable as a decoration for up to 4-7 days. If you plan on eating the fruit though, I would prepare it the day of your event or just one or two days prior to your event.
Below are some pictures and tips from my most recent endeavor to sugar fruit.
Meringue Powder and Water Mixture
Basting Brush used to spead Meringue Powder and Water Mixture over Fruit
What type of sugar to use:
For my wedding, I used regular granulated sugar and Wilton white sparkling sugar (available at craft stores, like Michaels). I used a mixture of the granulated and Wilton sugar on some pieces of fruit, while on others I used just the granulated or just the Wilton. I prefer the look of the Wilton sugar myself because I think it is more defined, but my mother prefers the look of just granulated sugar because the overall effect is more subtle. I think you could use almost any type of sugar available. It just depends on the look you like best.
Number of pieces of fruit the recipe will cover:
I was able to sugar about 10 large pieces of fruit using the 1/3 cup of meringue powder and 4 tablespoons of water. If you want to sugar more fruit, I would recommend doubling or tripling the recipe.
Sprinkling the sugar over the fruit:
I would recommend not holding the fruit over your bowl of sugar as you are sugaring. I did this once and ended up with a goopy mess in my bowl of sugar. The meringue powder and water mixture started running off the fruit and into the bowl of sugar. I found that just holding the fruit over wax paper while sprinkling sugar over it worked the best. Then, I just let the fruit dry on the wax paper.
Types of fruit to use:
Again, this is up to your preference. I have used grapes (red and green), pears, apples (red and green), oranges, lemons, limes, and plums in the past with success.
P.S. Here is a link to a recipe for making sugared fruit with egg whites.
Just be sure not to eat the fruit!