Pate de Fruit is one of my favourite things to make in the shop. It’s a simple task yet the result is beautiful and clean. This fruit candy has a near-forever shelf life due it’s high sugar content which acts as a preservative, so this is a treat you can hide in the pantry for the next time you’ve got a sweet tooth. I actually prefer pate de fruit after it’s aged for a while, as it becomes more tough and chewy over time. When I was a kid at home my Mom used to buy a package of liquorice, rip the bag open, and toss it into the cupboard to stale for a week before eating.
I get it now. Aged. Like a fine wine!
Pate de fruit is like ice cream in that you can use your imagination and play with the flavours. Vanilla bean (if you can get your hands on it) works extremely well in lighter coloured fruit purees as it adds a subtle flavour while also adding to it those characteristic ‘vanilla dots’. Flavour and aesthetics. You can purchase fruit purees in the frozen section of specialty grocery stores, or you can make your own according to the fruits in season (which is always preferred). Simply dice up your fruits of choice and cook slowly over low heat until the fruit has let out most of it’s juices, cool to room temperature, and puree with a food processor, counter top blender, or hand blender.
For this recipe I’ve used ratios according to Boiron’s Puree Chart for Pate de Fruit. Each fruit has a different level of natural sugars + pectin, and acidity, so not all fruits should be made into pate de fruit using the same exact formula. Fruits contain natural pectin already and this pectin is what thickens the liquid as it’s cooked/reduced. Some fruits that require very little added pectin (or none at all) are apples and pears, as they contain a great deal on their own.
*digital thermometer required*
250 g apricot puree
30 g sugar #1
2 g powdered apple pectin
185 g sugar #2
50 g glucose (click here for info)
4 g cream of tartar with splash of water, or squeeze of lemon juice.
-Prepare a small baking tray or loaf pan: line it evenly with tin foil, sprayed lightly with grease spray. To decide which vessel/size pan to use- look at the amount of puree you have for whatever size of recipe you’ve decided on, and eyeball it. Remember you will be cutting the pate de fruit into squares later so you can make them whichever size you prefer afterwards.
-Place puree in a heavy bottomed pot and heat to a simmer (pot must be a heavy bottomed one for even cooking without burning!)
-Mix together sugar #1 with the pectin, and whisk into the simmering apricot puree.
-Slowly whisk sugar #2 into puree, then glucose.
-Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon, checking the temperature of the mixture frequently, to reach a temperature of 110-112 degrees C.
-Once the mixture has reached proper temperature and is removed from the heat, it will start to set very quickly, so work fast.
-Stir your cream of tartar with a couple tablespoons of water to dissolve and stir into your fruit mixture directly after turning off the heat (or your lemon juice).
-Pour the pate de fruit directly into the baking tray or loaf pan, give it a very light ‘misting’ of grease spray, and drop a piece of plastic wrap on top. Set aside overnight for best results.
-Cut into desired shapes, toss in granulated sugar, enjoy!
And me, at work. (I swore I wouldn’t share photos of myself in uniform, but ah well. It’s not everyday someone else is taking photos of you on the job, so they’re few and far between.)