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Nov 8, 2007 07:20 AM

pates de fruits/fruit jelly candies: recipe question

Hi all --

I've been making quince jellies and I'm trying to make them without gelatin (vegetarian husband). Naturally, they are coming out too soft. Here' s my question: am I embarking on something impossible? Can I do them without gelatin and have them hold?

I've used pectin and that doesn't work too well but it's not like I've cooked the pectin down for ages. Would that make a difference? Could I do it with sugar only?

Or am I doomed to use gelatin and not tell my husband? (Kidding.)



Here's the blog post about the jellies:


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  1. Check the recipes in Gaston Lenotre's book. It has recipes for Quince, and the French don't usually use gelatin.

    1. Thomas Keller's French Laundry cookbook calls for apple pectin. I've tried it with regular pectin and ti doesn't set up right. I'm not sure if apple pectin makes a difference or not...I couldn't find apple pectin.

      1. If you are trying to make pates de fruits, you do not need to use gelatin at all. How soft or hard they are depend on how high a temperature you cook them for (or how much water is cooked off).
        And exactly how soft is too soft? It should be able to stand but it should melt in your mouth, I can't think of a commercial equivalent (like gummi bears) they are all too hard.
        If you can get consistent results you should try cooking it a little longer.
        In the restaurant we used a refractometer to measure the water content to get consistent results, but obtaining one isn't normally practical for home use. You should try measuring the temperature and if it's too soft cook it a few degrees higher each time before you add the pectin. The temperature will vary depending on hard you like it and the ingredients involved.