Preserving sugar....

...what the hell is that? One of my friends lived in Belgium for awhile and I'm trying to replicate the waffles he had there. I came across a really interesting recipe which calls for "preserving sugar" as well as "white" beer. I have at least four types of sugar on hand so which should I substitute?

  • Posted by: pierino
  • September 23, 2011


pierino October 1, 2011
Pearl sugar arrived from KA yesterday so this morning the Bride of Frankenstein waffle experiment continues.
Droplet October 1, 2011
There also exists sugar that is called "jam sugar" and is used for preserves, jams and such,and it is composed of pure white sugar, pectin and citric acid. I've seen different ratios such as Jam sugar 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, with the ratios indicating fruit and sugar respectively. I believe the pectin amount also differs because the higher ratio ones are said to be good for "less sweet" jams. I am sure this is not the sugar you need for the waffles, I just thought this was a good thread to mention this as a side note.
Wiener brand is the one I've seen (Viennese sugar)
mensaque September 29, 2011
Don't know if you already had your waflles,but here it goes:If you can find a Brazilian store nearby,go in there and ask for some "açúcar cristal".We use it a lot for syrups and decorating candies made out of condensed milk...Soon I'll add the recipe for the most popular of them:Brigadeiro!It's chocolate heaven!
AntoniaJames September 23, 2011
When I read your question, "Weissbier" ("white beer" in German) immediately came to mind. We can get Franziskaner Weissbier locally with no difficulty. I think I saw it at Trader Joe's recently. It's a decent, light colored Bavarian. Here's more from Wiki:

Weissbier (German: "white beer", usually spelled Weißbier; see ß), also known as Weizenbier ("wheat beer"), is a Bavarian specialty beer in which a significant proportion of malted barley is replaced with malted wheat: a wheat beer. By German law, Weissbiers brewed in Germany must be top-fermented.[1] Specialized strains of yeast are used which produce overtones of banana and clove as by-products of fermentation.

I really have never noticed bananas and cloves when drinking the stuff, however. ;o)
pierino September 23, 2011
Thank you, my friends. I was able to order pearl/preserving sugar from King Arthur, I needed to reorder high gluten flour anyway. Now I can work on the white beer.
pierino September 23, 2011
Brother T, thanks for the info on "wit bier", the recipe does mention hoergaarden but I (not being a beer aficianado) wasn't sure if it was a lable or a style of beer. The last time I made waffles I topped them with turbinado sugar which I carmelized with a blow torch.
thirschfeld September 23, 2011
"wit bier" would be something like hoergaarden white ale and the above answers and info all cover the preserving sugar. Just think of that big chunky sugar you find on jellies and you know what preserving sugar is.
Hilarybee September 23, 2011
I have actually noticed that in a lot of European recipes "Preserving Sugar" is generally natural cane sugar. I lived in Europe whilst my husband worked overseas- and I found that caster sugar is what is used as "sugar" and preserving sugar refers to cane sugar.

SDEBRANGO is right the preserving sugar is large crystal cane sugar. But most recipes that call for preserving sugar will also call for it to be warmed in the oven, so it can assimilate with the fruit faster. It can help in reducing scum, but I have found in jamming that scum has more to do with the quality of fruit, water content in said fruit, and gently heating it before turning up the temperature.
Rivka September 23, 2011
A question about the waffle recipe: after you scoop the batter onto the waffle iron, are you supposed to the top of the batter with some of the preserving sugar? I ask because good Belgian waffles are made by coating the waffle in what I think is usually called pearl sugar: it's opaque white, the pieces are the size of pebbles, and it looks a bit scary. The idea is to dot the waffle with pieces of this sugar, so that the sugar caramelizes under the heat of the waffle iron and coat the waffle in burnt caramel. Pretty delicious. Here's a link to pearl sugar, so you can see what it looks like:

If the above is a red herring, then on a completely opposite note, here's a description of preserving sugar I found on a baking website:

PRESERVING SUGAR: This type of sugar has the largest crystals which dissolve quickly when stirred into a liquid, this reduces the risk of the sugar burning. Preserving sugar dissolves quicker than granulated sugar. Used in jams, jellies, marmalades and pickles where it dissolves quickly to give a good set.

This suggests that preserving sugar has large crystals but dissolves quickly. Sounds confusing to me, but I'm no scientist.

Good luck!
sdebrango September 23, 2011
@boulangere, until I did a search on google i never knew what preserving sugar was, I had heard of white beer a local beer garden in my nabe has it. I thought you just use regular granulated sugar when preserving, I would never have known.
boulangere September 23, 2011
Very interesting on the sugar and beer, sdebrango. I was way, way off base.
hardlikearmour September 23, 2011
This recipe might help you with your waffle quest:
pierino September 23, 2011
Boulangere, I have turbinado, cane sugar, "bakers'" sugar and confectioner's sugar. I'm inclined to use the bakers'. For the beer, the recipe does list one lable but I can consult my friend on that part, and I do have to be back down in LA next week so I can provision up.

Voted the Best Reply!

sdebrango September 23, 2011
Here is what wikipedia say's it is:

Preserving sugar is a kind of sugar used for making marmalades, jams and preserves using fruits that are naturally high in pectin (such as plums, redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries, greengages, damsons and Seville oranges). The large sugar crystals dissolve more slowly than those of standard granulated sugar and do not settle in the bottom of the pot or rise up as froth to the surface. This reduces the risk of burning and the consequent need for stirring. It also allows impurities to rise for easier skimming. Because it minimises scum, it helps to make jams (UK) / jellies (USA) clearer.
Preserving sugar differs from gelling sugar, because the latter contains pectin while preserving sugar is 100% sugar.
White beer at least in NYC is pretty easily found. Beer stores that carry a large selection especially international beers would most likely have it. In my search I found the Sam Adams also makes a white beer.
Here are some brands of white beer in case you decide to search it out:
White Ale - Hitachino Nest, Japan
Blanche de Brooklyn - Brooklyn Brewery, NY
Witte - Ommegang, NY
Wahoo Wheat - Ballast Point, CA
White Rascal - Avery, CO
Wittekerk - Belgium
Blanche De Chambly - Unibroue, Quebec

boulangere September 23, 2011
Preserving sugar makes me think of 10x, you know, such as you'd use to encase the world's one true fruitcake, but that sounds totally wrong for something like waffles.
boulangere September 23, 2011
What types of sugar do you have on hand? And what are you going to do about the white beer?
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