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How to Caramelize Fruit in a Pan

author image Jonathan Croswell
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.
How to Caramelize Fruit in a Pan
Carmelized peaches in a bowl with ice cream Photo Credit: AlexPro9500/iStock/Getty Images

Caramelizing is a cooking process used to convert the starches in foods to sugar. Fruits are naturally sweet because of the natural sugars they possess, but the sweetness can be increased by cooking the fruit at high heats. Caramelizing softens fruit and causes it to change color. This is a quick process but an important one if you plan to produce pie fillings or other pastry dishes from the fruit. But even on its own or as a topping for other foods, caramelized fruit can be sweet and savory.

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Step 1

Preheat a stove top pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Place a small amount of cooking oil in the pan.

Step 2

Add the fruit to the pan, and spread it evenly over the bottom. Stir the fruit to disperse the cooking oil.

Step 3

Stir gently and often, cooking the fruit for three to five minutes or until it browns and becomes soft. If desired, you can sprinkle 1/8 tsp. salt and/or 1 to 3 tbsp. of brown sugar onto the fruit to enhance its flavor.

Step 4

Remove the fruit from the heat. Serve it warm, or let it cool in the refrigerator and serve cold.

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