Homemade TUTTI FRUITTI recipe (with Watermelon)
By the way what are Tutti Frutti? What are they made of? And what can they be used for?
Tutti Fruttis are sweet and colourful confectioneries, or candied fruits mainly prepared from raw pawpaw (papaya) or from watermelon rind. It is often used for toppings in ice creams, desserts, or made with a cake or bread recipe.
Tutti Frutti don’t have any significant smell or piquant taste. They are like any other candied fruit that taste fruity but not too much, a bit chewy and gummy.
- The good news about using watermelon is that you get to eat the fleshy pinkish or reddish part (pulp) or you use it for Homemade Watermelon Juice, then you use the rind for tutti frutti!.
- Unlike the Papaya version, the boiling process doesn’t take time. It’s faster because watermelon rinds are softer than unripe papaya.
- I tripled the recipe here too ‘cos I wanted lots of tutti frutti candies to store for a cake I was baking. Hence, I made the candies into 6 different colours. All colours used are FOOD GRADE COLOURS. I also used the syrup from a previous tutti frutti batch to make the first 3 colours. How? Once my watermelon cubes and syrup were ready? I divided them into 6 small bowls adding the fresh syrup alongside. Next I got the coloured syrups from the previous batch (green, yellow, and red) which I refrigerated and poured it into 3 bowls containing fresh watermelon cubes and stirred well. The colors in these previous batch was sufficient for the fresh batch so I didn’t add extra food colours. Then for the remaining 3 bowls, I introduced 3 new colours (orange, pink, and blue).
- At the end of the process, the tutti frutti candies will shrink from it’s original weight of 500g to approximately 328g. So if your recipe calls for more of these candies, you have to double the original weight of the watermelon cubes.
- It’s best stored in a clean air-tight container. Shelf life is 2 weeks, keep refrigerated for 6 months, or frozen for as long as you like!
See step-by-step video here: Homemade Tutti Frutti
- First start by washing your whole watermelon. Then divide into slices and remove the watermelon pulp (redish part) which can be eaten or used as watermelon juice.
- Cut the watermelon rind into stripes and dice in uniform cubes. Try as much as possible to make the cubes uniform so they cook evenly. The sizes of these watermelon cubes are almost same as raisins.
- Pour watermelon cubes into a deep skillet or pot and add 4 cups (885g/ml) of water and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. This is to kind of per-boil the rind and it gives a translucent look. Be careful not to over boil it. Once it boils, turn off heat.
- Transfer the cubes to a mesh strainer and drain out the water. This took me 2 minutes.
- Next pour the watermelon cubes into the skillet or pot again, add sugar, add 3 cups (385g/ml) of water and return it to medium heat. Stir well.
- Boil and stir occasionally till sugar syrup is very much reduced. Please check the video. At the end of this period I got about ½ cup of the sugar syrup. It took me about 20 minutes.
- This process allows the syrup sip into the cubes well. The cubes will at the end of this phase be soft but still retain their shapes. Also when you touch the syrup it will be slightly sticky. This shows they are ready.
- Turn off the flame, add vanilla flavor or lemon juice (you can use any flavor of your choice) then stir well.
- For this next phase, get three bowls, divide the papaya cubes into the bowls including the syrup. If making more than 3 colours, get more bowls. Next add one colour to each of the papaya cube bowls, and give them a good whisk. Depending on the brand of food grade colours you are using, add a little portion at a time and mix. If not satisfied, add more. Take note that as the tutti frutti dries, the colours gets intensed. You can use powdered food grade colour, liquid, or paste.
- Now cover bowls slightly with a cheese cloth, to keep dust or any unwanted elements from entering the bowls. Cheese cloth will also allow air penetrate into the bowls so the syrup cools. If you don’t have a cheese cloth, use paper towels.
- Keep bowls in an undisturbed cool dry place for 12 hours. In every 3 hours, stir the cubes. Don’t be tempted to skip this part. This process allows the cubes soak in the coloured syrup well.
- After 12 hours, pour each bowl containing papaya cubes into different mesh strainer to drain out the syrup. I left it this way for 7 hours.
- Next get a baking tray, spread it with layers of paper towels. Then get your drained papaya cubes and spread then separately on the tray. (DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR COLOURED SYRUP. Don’t allow the different coloured cubes touch one another yet ‘cos they are still wet and will smear each other’s colour. And you don’t want that. Leave it this way for 5 hours. I changed the paper towels after the first 3 hours.
- Alternatively sun-dry it. That’s exactly what I did in this particular recipe. I kept the tray under the sun where I knew it won’t be touched by pests or rodents. So the drying time took 2 hours only. It was very sunny.
- While waiting, get your coloured syrups, pour each into separate plastic bottles. This can be added to a new batch of tutti frutti so you aren’t using much colours for the new set 😉. Keep it refrigerated for 6 months or frozen for as long as you like. Remember to bring it to room temperature before using.
- At the end of these drying period. Your tutti frutti is ready! Now they are safe to be mixed together. The colors won’t stain your hands when you touch them. Mix them well to get a colourful candied fruit bowl. Use immediately as toppings or in Tutti frutti cakes or Tutti Frutti Bread or store.
- Please note that at the end of the drying process the weight of the tutti frutti will reduce from 500g to 328g.
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