It’s almost time for spring, and I am so ready! One of the things that really makes me think spring is the return of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World, which includes their Outdoor Kitchens serving dishes and drinks exclusively for the festival. One of our favorites that we tried is the Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries – and they’re actually fairly easy to make!
You can find the recipe that I used here. As the recipe advises, it seems best to have strawberries that aren’t too ripe – this works better when they’re firm, and when they’re dry on the outside so the sugar coating can stick.
One piece of equipment that you really need for this is a candy thermometer, or some kind of kitchen thermometer that goes up to 300 degrees. After stirring together the water, sugar, corn syrup, and balsamic vinegar, all you need to do is wait for it to reach 300 degrees. This takes about 20 minutes – watch the pot, because there is the potential for it to boil over.
There are a variety of ways that you could dip the strawberries. I took the recipe’s advice that dipping them one by one was easier, and decided to just stick each one on a fork to dip. You could also use some small skewers. I only did about a dozen strawberries, but the sugar mixture could easily have coated twice that many.
After cooling in the freezer for about fifteen minutes, it’s time for a taste test! I was very happy with the way my Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries turned out. The sugar coating was crunchy but not so thick that it was difficult to eat. They were very close to the taste and texture of the strawberries that I remember eating at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.
By the way, when you’re cleaning the pot afterwards, it’s easiest to fill the sugar-coated pot with water and let it simmer on the stove for about ten minutes so that the sugar mixture dissolves. Otherwise it’s about impossible to get that melted sugar off.
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