Candied dates, also known as Beijing style candied dates and North style candied dates, is one of the three Chinese candied dates (the other two are Hui Style candied dates and Gui style candied dates), which appears to amber color, looks transparent or translucent. It is known as Golden thread amber, which is very famous at home and abroad.
Candied dates has two meanings, one is a kind of preserved dates fruit in China, the other is the fruit of the date palm tree originated in the Middle East. There are three kinds of Chinese Candied dates: Beijing type (17% or more water content, also called North type), Hui type (13% or less water content, also called South type) and Gui type (7% or less water content). It can be seen that the taste of these three kinds of candied dates is getting harder and harder. The common candied dates and Ejiao crystal dates belong to Beijing style dates or their varieties. These are all soft dates. And the latter two kinds belong to the hard dates.
Processing of candied dates before storage
1. Selection of jujube fruit
It takes a quite long time to cook, stir and marinate the jujube, so it is easy to break. In order to ensure the integrity of fruit shape, it is necessary to select a period of compact and solid flesh, that is, harvest when the fruit is white and ripe, and discard the dates with red skin, moth eaten dates, mechanically damaged dates and those with too large or too small fruit.
Clean the selected raw materials. The fruit of Zizyphus jujuba is smaller and does not need to be peeled or seeded.
Cut pattern is to cut facilitate sugar penetration. The peel of fresh jujube can be cutted and scratched by hand from the bottom to the top. Each jujube should be scratched about 10 times, and the scratched lines should be evenly distributed on the fruit surface, so that both ends of jujube are scratched fully, and the depth of the scratched lines should not exceed 1 / 3 of the thickness of the flesh. It can also be cut into dense and neat longitudinal lines on the surface of jujube fruit with a slitting machine. The grain pitch is about 2 mm. Install 30-50 blades in the iron pipe according to the spacing between the blades. After dates pass through the blade pipe, they will be cutted evenly.
Storage of raw materials of candied dates
The raw materials are stored in the way of freezing. After processing, they can be directly placed in a cold storage at -18℃to slow the freezing speed. The storage period can be more than 8 months. It is very convenient to take and use at any time, so can save the procedure of precooling and quick freezing, thus the raw materials’ quality can be guaranteed.
Candied dates drying process
1. Sulfur treatment of raw materials
After thawing before raw material processing, sulfur treatment should be carried out to inhibit the uncovering of thawed raw material in the air. At the same time, it has the function of increasing brightness and preserving fresh. Usually, 1% sodium bisulfite solution is prepared. The raw material of dates can be soaked in the solution for 1 hour and then take them out.
2. Rinsing of raw materials
The raw materials after sulfur treatment shall be rinsed before honey production. To remove the sulfur odor caused by sodium sulfite. The water should be changed saveral times to reduce the residual sulfur dioxide to below 20ppm.
The making of candied dates
（1) Boil sugar and add cold syrup. Put 50% sugar solution in a stainless steel pot and boiled, add the raw material into the semen and mix well, make the sugar solution cover the jujube surface, add cold syrup when boiling for 4-5 minutes, quickly turn it over to make the sugar solution evenly distributed.When jujube liquid stop boiling, and boil them slowly until the sugar solution boils again. Add the cold syrup for three times, and the material begins to soften. The best content of cold syrup is to increase sugar concentration by 10%.
（2）Addition of dry powder sugar. When the raw materials become soft and there are fine lines on the surface, dry sugar shall be added into the jujube boiling liquid. Dry sugar shall be added while boiling for six times. The first three times, add 50g of dry sugar per 0.5kg of raw materials, add 15g of jujube boiling sugar liquid (jujube boiling sugar liquid should be used recycled ). As for the 4th and 5th times, add 80g of dry essence per 0.5kg of raw materials, add 15g of jujube boiling sugar liquid at the same time. Add 100g of thousand sugar per 0.5kg of raw materials for the sixth time, no need add jujube boiling sugar liquid. After boiling for 20 minutes, when the jujube is translucent and the soluble solid content of semen is about 70%, the candied dates making process is over.
（3)sugaring. It is no need to take out the raw materials from the sugar liquid. After soaking for 24 hours, drain the sugar liquid and bake.
Candied dates drying process
Put the dried jujube raw materials in Phnix dryer at (60±2)℃for about 12 hours, The temperature is maintained at 55-65℃for the first 4 hours, 65-70℃for the middle 5 hours, and 65℃for the last 4 hours. When the moisture content of the jujube reaches 20% - 25%, the jujube can be put out of the drying room when without sticking hands. The jujube can be pressed by a press or manually to bias, so as to improve the beauty appearance of the product. The jujube need dry one more time after pressing, the redrying time is 20 hours, and the temperature should be maintained at 65-70℃, until the moisture content of the finished product is 16%. When the toughness of fruit is enhanced, it is not sticky and crystal clear, it can be packaged for market sale or short-term storage.