Strawberry, Blackberry or Raspberry Pate de Fruits
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: Makes about 40-64 squares depending on size cut, recipe easily doubled or halved
 
Recipe by Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide
ingredients:
  • 3 cups (16 oz/450 gm) quartered strawberries (can use raspberries or blackberries too, or a combo of two or all three berries!)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups (16 oz/ 450 gm) granulated white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (38 ml) Liquid Pectin (might need more, depending on all kinds of conditions)
directions:
  1. Prepare an 8”x8” (20cmx20xm) pan by lining it with aluminium foil or parchment paper and spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place the strawberries (or blackberries or raspberries) in a blender or food processor and process until very well pureed.
  3. Pour the pureed berries through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan, discarding any remaining fruit chunks and seeds. Stir in the lemon juice and ½ cup of the sugar. Place the pan over medium-high heat, and insert a candy thermometer.
  4. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is hot, around 140°F/60°C. Add the remaining 1.5 cups of sugar and the liquid pectin, and lower the heat to medium.
  5. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture registers 200°F/93°C. At this point, turn the heat to low and hold it at 200°F/93°C for 2-3 minutes. After this, return the heat to medium and bring it up to 225°F/107°C. This process will take some time, especially with the heat on medium, so have patience and be diligent in stirring frequently so the bottom doesn't scorch.
  6. Once the fruit paste reaches 225°F/107°C, turn the heat to low and keep it at that temperature for an additional 2-minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the strawberry pate de fruit mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer.
  8. Allow the pate de fruit mixture to set at room temperature for several hours, until completely cool and firm or refrigerate after letting it come to room temperature, to set faster. Use a sharp knife to cut it into very small squares, and roll the individual pieces in granulated sugar.
  9. The strawberry pate de fruits can be served immediately, or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. If refrigerated, the pieces may need to be re-rolled in granulated sugar before serving. Read important message below.
  10. !What if my pate de fruits doesn't seem to be setting?
  11. Pour the mixture back into a clean pot and bring to a boil. Spoon 1 cup of the hot mixture into a bowl or measuring cup and stir in 1 packet of plain gelatin until the gelatin is dissolved. Pour this back into the pot and stir through, then pour back into the parchment lined 8x8 pan to set.
notes:
In order for pate de fruits to set properly, unless using gelatin instead of pectin, the puree, sugar and pectin must be cooked down close to a paste. The only problem is, once it reaches 225 F or the temperature given, it's not a paste yet, and it's still quite liquid. You'd have to cook it at least another 15 minutes to get to 'paste consistency', which in turn would bring the temperature up higher. Unless it scorches, I don't see a problem with it - just keep cooking and stirring until you get to paste like consistency that is a bit thicker than jam.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2011/08/27/candy-candy-candy-i-cant-let-you-go/