Pâtes de fruits

If you like jam, you'll love Pâtes de fruits. Making them is a bit more involved than making jam, though.

As you'll see in the pictures, this recipe focuses on mirabelle plum but it will work with other plum types, strawberries, and most berries as they have roughly the same acidity level and amount of pectin in them. Other fruits will require different ratios for pulp/sugar and pulp/glucose syrup. The goal here is not to create a complete bible on how to make pâte de fruits, consider this page as an introduction. Ratios for other fruits can easily be found online.

Ingredients

  • 500g fruit pulp
  • 550g + 75g crystal sugar
  • 100g glucose syrup1
  • 20g yellow pectin
  • 15ml lemon juice + 15ml water

Additionally, you should also have a kitchen thermometer at hand. You can technically do without it, but if it's your first time I recommend you get one, as this recipe is very easy to mess up.

Recipe

Fruit pulp is relatively hard to come by for many fruits and when you do, it's often a lot more expensive than just buying the fruits themselves. So we'll start by making our own pulp from fresh or frozen fruits. It's a fairly straightforward process.

Dump your fruits in a big saucepan on medium heat, stir them every now and then so they don't burn, and let them cook until they turn into a mash.

Then push the resulting mash through a strainer to extract as much pulp as possible. This will keep it as pure and smooth as possible, any skin or seed will stay out of it.

Your pulp is ready. Let's work on the actual pâtes de fruits now!

Start by mixing the 75g of sugar with the yellow pectin. Save it for later. Mix the lemon juice and water, save it for later as well.

Put 500g of pulp back into the saucepan on medium-high heat, and progressively add the 550g of sugar into it. Do not stop stirring and bring it to a boil.

Drop the heat. Add the glucose syrup. Push the heat up again, do not stop stirring and bring it back to a boil.

Then, add the sugar & pectin mix and keep stirring.

Now here comes the more important part. You need to heat up the mixture to 108°C (226°F) and keep it at this temperature for 10 minutes while continuously stirring so it doesn't burn at the bottom of the saucepan.

Just a word of warning: this preparation is a bit more than 50% sugar at this point. Molten sugar burns hard and isn't easy to rinse off as it quickly goes from liquid to syrupy to solid as soon as it cools down, which makes it even more dangerous and messy to work with. So, be careful. Keep your fingers away and do not try and taste it.

Once you're done, add the lemon juice and mix it well to a boil. At this point you'll need to act fast: the citric acid will drop the pH and activate the pectin, and the mixture will start to thicken then solidify.

Pour the paste into a square-ish baking pan — like a silicone pan, or a metal/glass one protected with plastic wrap. Let it cool down and solidify in the fridge for roughly 1 hour.

If all went well, you should be left with a big, heavy, and somewhat sticky pâte de fruits. Remove it from the pan and drop it on your work area (lay down some sugar first so it doesn't stick and make a mess).

Cut its four sides to make them nice and straight.

Then start cutting individual pâte de fruits. Feel free to use cookie cutters if you want custom shapes. I generally stick to the original cube shape.

Finally, roll each piece in coarse crystal sugar. That's it!

They can last for quite a while if you store them away from humidity and heat — ideally in a metal box between 15°C (59°F) and 18°C (64°F).

1

Also known as « confectioner's syrup ».