Pate de Fruits and a New Motivation

Sunday, January 10, 2010

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What is it about ringing in a new year that makes everything seem so fresh, possible and…well, new?  I mean, it’s not like the world just magically changed in the span of 24 short hours, at least not my world. All of the problems and issues in my life that existed on December 31 were still lurking there on January 1.  Yet, when I woke up that morning, I felt different – lighter and “newer”. As I showered, it literally felt as though pounds of apathy and malaise were melting off of me   I had shed the skin of worry and doubt, emerging fresh, hopeful and motivated for what 2010 has in store for me.

It’s not that I’d been feeling particularly BAD. I just hadn’t been feeling particularly GOOD.  And, when I don’t feel good, I just can’t be very creative.  I find it hard enough just to muddle through the things I absolutely must do, let alone write scintillating blog posts and take droolworthy photographs.  So, I owe you a few and payback starts now!

When I was in San Francisco last September for BlogHer Food, I spent some time at the Ferry Building Marketplace, where I loaded up on delectable treats from Recchiuti Confections.  One of my very favorites were their amazing pate de fruits, or French fruit jellies.  Remember those Chuckles candies you ate as a kid?  Well, these are not even in the same universe!  Pate de fruits are soft, smooth, jammy and intensely fruity little confections that are so incredibly delicious they almost defy description.  By the time I ate my way through two 1-pound boxes of those little gems, I was hopelessly addicted and knew I had to learn to make them myself to support my habit! 

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Back home, I began my “pate de fruits” project.  Thanks to Google, I found many recipes to choose from, including some by other bloggers like Helen, Jenni and Ashley, that I admire and trust.  I decided to go with Jenni’s recipe because she had a whole pastry chef “cheat sheet” with the exact pectin to fruit formulas for pate de fruits in every possible flavor combination, and she was sharing!

Jenni recommends making pate de fruits using pure fruit purees from the French company, Les vergers Boiron. Their purees come frozen in 1000 gram (2.2 pounds)  packages.   I ordered several different flavors from Canelle Specialty Foods, and soon had enough fruit purees to open my own little pate de fruits shop.   Instead, I had the bright idea to share the wealth and make pate de fruits to give as Christmas gifts.  You certainly can make your own fruit purees out of fresh or frozen fruit if you don’t want to go to the trouble or expense of ordering the Boiron.  There are lots of good recipes out there that explain how to do it, like Helen’s for Strawberry-Rhubarb Pate de Fruits, or Ashley’s apple version.

 

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Never having done this before, and in light of my bad luck with cooking sugar, I was a little nervous.  But, I followed Jenni’s instructions scrupulously and was rewarded with wild strawberry and white peach pate de fruits that were even more heavenly than Recchiuti’s!

These pate de fruits contain only fruit, sugar, lemon juice and a little corn syrup.  None of the other recipes I found used corn syrup, but I left it in because with the cost of those Boiron purees,  I didn’t want mess with the recipe and tempt fate!

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The process for making these really isn’t hard at all.  It just takes a little time, attention and a good candy thermometer.  If you start with fruit that is already pureed, you’re ahead of the game.  If not, a quick whizz in the blender or food processor should get you up to speed.  Then, you cook the fruit and sugar together and stir…and stir…and stir…

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Eventually, your bubbling, angry, molten mass of fruit lava becomes transformed.  From there, all you have to do is enjoy it!

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I ordered some green and pink boxes for my edible Christmas gifts from a company called Bake it Pretty.  They have the cutest stuff!  You can order all kinds of bags, boxes and decorating supplies from them at reasonable prices. Plus, you don’t have to buy in bulk.  I also had matching labels made with SGCC’s logo to stick on the boxes. I tied each little parcel up with chocolate brown tulle ribbon as well.  They looked so pretty!  I wish I had taken a photo of them all dolled up and ready to go, but hey, it was Christmas time and I was a little frazzled.  At least I managed to get a shot a box and label. Don’t judge me.

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Well, I’m happy to report that my pate de fruits as well as my other edible gifts were a big hit with my family and friends this year.  But, I have to tell you – it was a $#%load of work!   Next year, I think I’ll just pick one or two things to make and not FOUR (three of which involved boiling sugar)!!!  What was I thinking?

I want to thank Jenni for graciously sharing her recipe and formulas with me, and for answering all my silly questions without telling me to take a hike!  Now that I’m a pate de fruit pro, I plan on making them often!  If you’ve never made pate de fruits before, I urge you to try it.  They are utterly divine and so much better than anything you can buy in a store.  Trust me, you will become totally infatuated.  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;)

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50 responses to Pate de Fruits and a New Motivation

  1. On January 10, 2010 at 2:12pm, Maria said...

    Happy New Year to you! What a great little treat. Nice work!

    • On January 10, 2010 at 9:14pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Maria. Happy New Year to you too!

  2. On January 10, 2010 at 2:24pm, Katie @ goodLife {eats} said...

    I love these but I have never made them myself. That website has so many flavors – the possibilities!! I would be scared that I would eat the whole batch without sharing, and then go make another which I’d then eat again.

    • On January 10, 2010 at 9:15pm, Susan said...

      Lol! Just keep telling yourself that it’s fruit and fruit is good for you. ;)

  3. On January 10, 2010 at 2:42pm, Rosa said...

    Your pate de fruits are fabulous! Just like those you find in luxury foodstores…

    Just like you, when i’m not feeling good, then I can’t be creative. I hope 2010 has started well for you.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    • On January 10, 2010 at 9:17pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Rosa. Hope your 2010 is fab!

  4. On January 10, 2010 at 2:43pm, MeLissa said...

    I miss the Ferry Building. I used to wander there on my lunch hours from time to time when we lived in CA. These pates de fruits look so tasty…I certainly wish I were on your Christmas list. :) LOL!

  5. On January 10, 2010 at 3:01pm, Natalie said...

    wow these are so nice and must be delicious. :)

  6. On January 10, 2010 at 3:02pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    Congrats on a successful recipe. They look beautiful. I can’t imagine how good they must taste.

  7. On January 10, 2010 at 3:28pm, Tangled Noodle said...

    Happy New Year! These pate de fruits are soooo lovely – I wish I could taste them, too. It’s such a wonderful feeling when all that hard work results in something so divine. Hooray for Jenni, who deserves such kudos for being one of the most amazing cooking resources on the web. And kudos to you for transforming words & instructions into edible works of art!

    • On January 10, 2010 at 9:35pm, Susan said...

      Thanks! Jenni certainly is a great and gracious resource! :)

  8. On January 10, 2010 at 3:30pm, Jenni said...

    Oh, Susan! They turned out beautifully! And how cute are those boxes? You’re doing a remarkably good job of branding yourself, too. :)

    • On January 10, 2010 at 9:36pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Jenni! I could never have done it without your help! Glad you like my packaging too. :D

  9. On January 10, 2010 at 3:51pm, Dave -nibbleanibble said...

    Looks beautiful, and there is no doubt the taste is good. But that is a lot of work.

  10. On January 10, 2010 at 4:47pm, Hannah said...

    Oh my, I think I’ll have to tackle jam before I give pate de fruits a go! Plus, I don’t own a candy thermometer (yet), so I guess I’ll have to rely on finding a stockist of Recchiuti for the next little while.

    All in all, I’m mighty impressed, and you’ve actually made me considering switching up my daily chocolate for another sweet treat – an uncommon feat!

  11. On January 10, 2010 at 4:55pm, noble pig said...

    Oh my aren’t these the cutest little things, wow. Beautiful.

  12. On January 10, 2010 at 6:28pm, Phoo-D said...

    These look gorgeous Susan! I was thinking about making some for Christmas presents but threw in the towel when things got way to busy to be making presents. Do you think that these would hold up well if dipped in dark chocolate? I have been fantasizing about chocolate dipped orange sticks for months now!

    • On January 10, 2010 at 9:37pm, Susan said...

      I’ll bet they would hold up fine. I’ve actually seen them dipped in chocolate before.

  13. On January 10, 2010 at 6:54pm, Memoria said...

    These are beautiful pâte de fruits (there’s a circumflex on the “a”)!!! Wow! I admire you for your patience and effort in making these beautiful treats. I’ve never tried these before, but I’m now I’m curious.

    • On January 10, 2010 at 9:39pm, Susan said...

      Thanks! I know there is a circumflex, but I can’t figure out how to type one on my keyboard! :o

  14. On January 10, 2010 at 8:01pm, Becky said...

    Wow…these look amazing!! The photographs are beautiful too. I just bookmarked these as possible Christmas gifts for next year….

  15. On January 10, 2010 at 9:10pm, patsy said...

    homemade candies are not my forte by a long shot… tried to make an almond brittle that utterly failed! Your candies look so much prettier than the store-bought ones… and now you can enjoy them whenever you want… you are so lucky!

  16. On January 10, 2010 at 9:41pm, Susan said...

    Thanks for all of your great comments! I’m so happy that you like my little pate de fruits. After writing this post and looking at all of the pictures, I’m craving them all over again! ;)

  17. On January 10, 2010 at 10:20pm, Faith Kramer said...

    Since I had Charles Choclates version of this I’ve wanted to try it. Now, maybe I will. Thanks!

  18. On January 10, 2010 at 10:30pm, Sandy said...

    Absolutely gorgeous. I’ve seen recipes for these and never even considered making them (or wanting to eat them) before this post. Now, of course, I WANT. THEM. NOW. What lucky recipients of your special treats!!

  19. On January 10, 2010 at 10:42pm, Wizzythestick said...

    I LOVE these. It’s amazing that food from diverse places can share similarities. Pate de fruits you say. In my country this is called ‘cheese’ The most popular one being guava cheese. I have never seen one that uses corn syrup before but I am like you when trying something new for the first time, sticking closely to the recipe.

  20. On January 11, 2010 at 3:48am, thecoffeesnob said...

    Oooh! I’ve never had one but these look utterly delicious!

  21. On January 11, 2010 at 5:33am, bellini valli said...

    I remember growing up on fruit jellies and Turkish delight since they were my parents sweets of choice. Thanks for sharing Susan.

  22. On January 11, 2010 at 1:52pm, Eliana said...

    I’ve never had these before but they look like perfection in sugar form.

  23. On January 11, 2010 at 2:29pm, Lucy said...

    My Mum adores these but I’ve never thought of making my own. Yours look so beautiful – I bet the recipients were overjoyed! Delicious :D

  24. On January 11, 2010 at 7:43pm, laura said...

    mmmmmmmm I love those things tried to make my own but it was a miserable FAIL I’m gonna try again with your recipe.

  25. On January 11, 2010 at 8:09pm, Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen said...

    Happy New Year Susan! Those look so good – my mouth is literally watering!

  26. On January 11, 2010 at 9:21pm, Katie @ cozydelicious said...

    Such beautiful photos! Thank you! I love fruit jellies and have always wanted to make them. But they seem so delicate and I’ve never quite gotten up the nerve to figure it out. However, you make it seem pretty do-able so I’m going to have to get myself some fruit purees!

  27. On January 11, 2010 at 9:29pm, Cakelaw said...

    I’ve wanted to make these for a long time (since I saw Helen use them in a macaron last year) – now I have no excuse. They look delicious!

  28. On January 12, 2010 at 11:15am, Carol, Simply...Gluten-free said...

    What beautiful little gems! And I am so happy you are feeling lighter, better. 2010 will be a great year, don’t you think?

  29. On January 12, 2010 at 12:55pm, Natasha - 5 star foodie said...

    This pate de fruits looks so gorgeous and sound absolutely scrumptious! Best wishes to you in 2010!

  30. On January 12, 2010 at 10:58pm, Chez Us said...

    Susan – Happy New Year first off! Second, these look amazing. I know the place you gobbled up in SF, I love their sweets. I have never tried making fruit jellies & you just made it seem so easy. Do I dare try?!

    I hope you are well & that your holidays were splendid. Looking forward to noshing very often over at SGCC!

  31. On January 13, 2010 at 9:25am, steph (whisk/spoon) said...

    i love pate de fruits! so soft, fruity and delicious (everything a gumdrop is not!). yours look gorgeous, and i’m sure the recipients considered themselves very lucky!

  32. On January 14, 2010 at 5:22pm, Dina said...

    wow…so lovely! they look yummy!

  33. On January 19, 2010 at 8:14am, Maybe said...

    I’d really like to taste the “White peach” pates de fruits ! Here in France it seems easier to go for a walk and pick some fresh fruits that it is in the US. I guess we’re lucky people but trust me, you’re doing great with your fruit purees !!

  34. On January 21, 2010 at 9:50am, Andrea Meyers said...

    My mother is completely in love with fruit candies like these. I’ll have to make some for her birthday. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  35. On January 22, 2010 at 10:12pm, Bren said...

    well happy new year to you. and i agree, nothing diff on the 1st than on the 31st! i love your little fruit tarts. the look like little guava shells we eat as a mirienda. brave girl for making them! hope to meet on a blogger fest this year!!

  36. On January 29, 2010 at 11:14am, Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) said...

    Happy New Year!! These look simply amazing. And so professional.. You should totally start up an Etsy store!!!

  37. On July 12, 2010 at 7:30am, LoveLife LoveFood said...

    I just discovered your site and I’m so happy! If I can only find liquid pectin can you tell me how much to use in this recipe?

  38. On February 02, 2011 at 3:46pm, Ruth said...

    Dear Susan,
    I love your blog and I’ll definitely try making these great looking pates de fruits. I live in France and I’m completely addicted to the pates de fruits by Voisin: http://www.histoiresucree.com/product_categories/douceurs.html
    I’ll have to learn how to make them for when I come back to the States!

  39. On August 15, 2012 at 11:45pm, Sharon said...

    I have lots of blackberry bushes in my backyard that are in fruit right now and these candies look delicious, but I don’t do metric. Does anyone have this recipe in pounds and ounces?

    Thanks,

    Sharon

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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