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These sugared fruits are a stunning way to finish desserts such as Claire Ptak’s three-layer spice cake, lending the dessert a dreamy, still-life aura. They’re surprisingly easy to make and are best done at least an hour or up to a day in advance to give the coating time to set. Smallish, firm, sturdy fruits with skins that hold up well at room temperature work best; avoid berries, which are too soft and delicate. If you’re concerned about using raw egg, opt for pasteurized egg whites sold in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.
cup egg white
Whole firm fruits, such as fresh figs, grape clusters, cherries, small pears, plums, tangerines and kumquats, wiped dry if damp
White sugar, for sprinkling
A few bay leaves (optional)