I’m pretty stoked about today’s post. I’m really trying to expand this blog into wider sweet territories that you all hopefully want to try out someday. Today we’re making pate de fruit, Strawberry + Pomegranate Pates de Fruit, which is French for fruit jelly, but saying pate de fruit (pronounced: PAHT duh fruit or pat de fwee if you really want to get fancy) Pates de fruits are chewy candies with a clean and vibrant fruit taste made from purees of fresh fruit cooked down with sugar to an extremely concentrated, almost jam-like that cut into small squares rolled in sugar. They’re like those candies you get at the supermarket or drug store but way better.
I’ve been making candy from time to time for years and it’s really one of my favorite things to do, despite the disasters that have come from it. The thing with candy is that it’s fickle and tedious. Tedious is good for me because I like to do tedious things, but fickle is what racks my nerve. There are so many factors to making candy ranging from the type of pot you use, to the weather outside, to the weather inside, to the amount of natural water in each fruit or the sweetness, candy making is a real science, but in my opinion if your patient and follow each step closely you can become a candy wizard.
Behind the Scenes (BTS):
I’ve been trying to figure out what candy I wanted to start off with when it came to the blog, I wanted something easy but still something you could be incredibly proud of, I have the most awesome cookbook from candy makers Liddabit Sweets called the Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook of course. There is a very basic pate de fruit recipe in the book and they leave the fruit options completely up to you. I decided on strawberry early on because I love strawberries but I also wanted a secondary flavor that would help bring the strawberries to another level and complex things up which made me think of pomegranate, this is something that people automatically confuse with cranberries or they think super highly of. I figured this combination would make this recipe a winner, and it did, after a few missteps.
I decided to make somewhat of a homemade jam recipe first before making this recipe. The recipe really just calls for fruit puree but I wanted this to be thick and hearty and tasty and banging with flavor so I made a slightly thinner compote jam which you can find here. Besides adding the juice instead of water to the recipe and making my own jam ahead of time, there were no real adjustments that had to be made. You could also half this recipe, this recipe makes about 30.
The alterations to this recipe are endless, the only thing you need to make sure is that when it comes to the fruit fresh is best unless its pineapple, kiwi, or papaya, then you should use canned. Also as you can see I added juice to the recipe, so you can add a different juice to the recipe as well.
Helpful Hints & Suggestions:
A candy thermometer is a MUST! A digital thermometer isn’t going to cut it like it does in most cases and you can’t really tell just by looking at it when it’s done unless you’re a professional. I would also suggest having a chair near you because you will be stirring for quite some time and you could get lazy during that process. Also be wary of bubbling jelly burns because they hurt and will happen, so make sure you keep an eye out for them.
Well that’s all over here. I really hope you guys try this recipe out because it is something awesome. It’s nowhere near as hard as it looks or as some angry French pastry chef tells you it is, as long as you have the necessary ingredients and patience you can get it done perfectly. ENJOY!
Strawberry + Pomegranate Pates de Fruit
2 c. (450 grams) of Strawberry + Pomegranate Jam see recipe here
1/2 c. (175 grams) light corn syrup (or a light honey)
3 c. (600 grams) granulated sugar divided (1 1/2 c. (300 grams) each)
(extra sugar for dredging 1 1/2 c. (300 grams) should do it; although I suggest superfine sugar)
1 1/2 tbsp. (15 grams) powdered pectin
1 tbsp. lemon juice (fresh)
Medium Size Sauce Pan
Food Processor (optional)
- Combine, in a medium to large sauce pan, your fruit jam, corn syrup (or honey if your using that), and 11/2 c. (300 grams) of your granulated sugar. In a small bowl add your pectin and the other cup (300 grams) of granulated sugar (make sure to mix it thoroughly.)
- Turn your stove onto medium heat and mix your mixture until fully combine, continue to stir, when the mixture is warm to the touch and it looks like it’s about to start heating up (you’ll notice the edges of the pan starting to bubble.) add the remainder of your sugar/pectin mixture, stirring until it’s dissolved into the jam mixture. Finally add your lemon juice and insert your candy thermometer. (REMEMBER: stir constantly and make sure you scrap the bottom of your pan with your spatula as to make sure your pate de fruit does not burn on the bottom.) (ALSO: the mixture will bubble up from time to time, it’s normal and nothing to fret about, it’s because the water in the mixture is being cooked out and the sugar is caramelizing.)
- Continue to stir your mixture until it reaches 224F/107C, this will take almost 45 minutes to an hour! I know, seems like forever and you may have to switch stirring hands to make sure you don’t cramp up but it’s oh so worth it. Once your pate de fruit has reach the desired temperature, turn off the stove and pour your mixture into either a buttered pan or a pan lined with parchment paper that has also been sprayed (I’d do the second). Let your mixture set for 6 hours to overnight, trust me you’ll go back from time to time to see if it’s hard enough before the 6 hours and it’s not, it may not even be ready after the 6 hours which is why I suggest overnight.
- Now that it’s tomorrow and your candy has set, flip it out of the pan, oil your cutting knife and cut your pate de fruit into squares or whatever shape you desire, if you’re going to use a shape cutter grease that meticulously as well. Once your fruit has been cut, place them on a cooling rack to firm and dry up some more, do this for at least 2 hour and it will be perfect after 4.
- (ps. I suggest super fine sugar, if you don’t have superfine sugar but you have a food processor then take your regular granulated sugar, grind it in the food processor a couple times and sift the sugar to make sure the sugar that hasn’t been grated isn’t in the sugar mixture for dredging.) Place your dredging sugar in a bowl and start to roll your pate de fruit into the sugar and once again place them on the cooling rack (don’t let them touch). Let them air out, once again, yes I know this is taking forever, in the fridge for another couple of hours ( I did 5 hours) and then they are ready to be eaten.
- Storage: you can either put them in a Tupperware bowl with parchment paper dividing each layer, once again don’t let them touch, or you can wrap them individually with wax paper. They will last at room temperature for about 3 weeks, but we all know they’ll be gone by then.