How to Caramelize Fruit in a Pan

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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.

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

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

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.

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