I have been looking for the perfect recipe for pâtes de fruits and quickly realized there's no such thing because while some fruits like cranberries, quinces, and most citrus have natural pectin, others need pectin powder and/or a little citric acid for the pâtes to set properly. I made the pectin-less recipe from my cookbook DESSERT CIRCUS AT HOME by Jacques Torres but almost got burnt by the blorp blorp blorping lava-like mixture. I did not want to spend an hour over the stove stirring while dressed in protective gear so I added 2 packets of liquid pectin. The paste set perfectly and after shaping and rolling in sugar, the fruit candies turned into these delightful little edible gems. I love the slightly chewy and crunchy (from the sugar) exterior and the soft incredibly fruity sweet center. The fruit leather recipe from the same cookbook is very good. I spread the cooked mixture a little bit thicker than fruit roll-ups. I love it too, specially the sweet and tart apple and cranberry which tastes like soft haw flakes. Hmm, what fruit shall I make into paste next, Philippine mango or raspberries?
If you have the time and the patience and have an obsessive personality like myself here are the recipes:
Apple Pâte de Fruits
3 apples, peeled
1¼ cup sugar plus extra for dusting
½ tablespoon butter
6 ounces liquid fruit pectin (2 pouches)
- Line an 8 x 8 inch square pan with aluminum foil lightly sprayed with oil. Place apples in a medium sauce pan half filled with water. Poach apples for 25 minutes until soft, let cool slightly. Core apples and coarsely chop. Put in a blender and blend until uniform in texture. Pour the puréed apples in a medium saucepan, stir in the sugar and cook over medium heat stirring constantly for 4 minutes. Add the butter and continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the pectin. Immediately pour into the prepared pan. Let cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator.Cut into squares and roll in sugar. Variations: Use the same amount of sugar and pectin and procedure for 2 large quinces, increase poaching time to 45 minutes up to 1 hour until quince is very soft. Tint with red orange color paste, if desired. Replace 1 cup apple purée with 1 cup canned or fresh apricot purée or cranberry purée.
1 cup strawberry purée
juice of ½ lemon
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup powdered pectin
- Lightly spray a 16 x 24 inch piece of parchment paper with oil, set aside. Combine the strawberry and lemon juice in a stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat. Combine the sugar and pectin and add to the purée. Whisk well to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a boil while stirring constantly and continue to boil for 3 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour into the prepared pan. Using a large offset spatula, spread the mixture evenly over the parchment paper. Set aside to cool. It cools very quickly and develops a skin. For fruit roll-ups, cut into preferred size and simply roll one end into the other.