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Pate de fruit for civilians?

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AkL Dec 19, 2008 05:13 PM

(note: I also posted this in Home cooking)

Help. I know I'm probably a few years late to the food trend (*sigh*) but I'm trying to make pate de fruit -- mango and strawberry -- for Xmas this year. I've never worked w pectin before but I've done some homemade candy (fudge, toffee, caramels,divinity).

I've googled a couple of recipes and there doesn't seem to be any consistency re: when to add pectin, what kind of pectin, how long to cook, or to what temperature. One recipe I found says to cook the fruit/sugar/powdered pectin to 220F, but that recipe is also all in grams (I'm not a pastry chef, I just have measuring cups). Another recipe says to add liquid pectin and cook for 45 mins. A third uses powdered pectin and to cook for three minutes.

So I'm confused, and I have two pans of stuff sitting on my countertop --- will they be gooey? Will they set up? Who knows?

I guess I'm looking for -- recipes w measuring cups, not weights. A temperature to cook the stuff to. And maybe some general guidelines? Has anyone else done this?

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    chocolateman RE: AkL Dec 20, 2008 03:22 AM

    Using weights is not just for a professionals. For baking I find it indispensable for consistent results, and makes scaling a lot easier.
    That said, a few general guidelines Pate de fruit.
    1. Get ready to try it more than once. Do maybe half a recipe or less if possible, or take out part of the mixture at varying temperatures (every 3 or 5 degrees) to see how it sets up.
    2. I would use the temperature recipe. You are looking for a particular water % in the pate de fruit, so recipes with vague (or no) temperature for a period of time won't be accurate. When we use to use the temperature recipe we would shoot for 165C
    3. The final temperature can vary depending on the fruit, expect to adjust it. Also do not forget about carryover heat, the temperature will go up a little bit after you remove it from the heat.
    4. There are different types of pectin and there is a pectin for pate de fruit. They should work the same but temperatures will be different.

    In the kitchen we use a refractometer to measure water content and even then we can get varying results to a degree (usually too soft). If it's anything like gummi bears it's too hard. Pate de Fruit is an easy recipe but the hardest to get consistent results.

    Good luck.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chocolateman
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      AkL RE: chocolateman Dec 20, 2008 03:58 PM

      Cool thanks! I guess I'm up for a couple of tries this wknd, which is ok.

      My strawberry (strawberry puree + liquid pectin, cook 45 mins, no temp) turned out ok -- tasted more like jam and less like "big zing of berry" than I liked.

      Mango (puree + powdered pectin, said to cook 3 mins, I did more like15) -- turned out AWESOME. This recipe also says to keep it in the fridge. None of the other recipes say that -- I guess it has to do w/ water content?

      1. re: AkL
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        chocolateman RE: AkL Dec 20, 2008 05:51 PM

        Storage you should keep pate de fruit in the fridge, covered or wrapped. It will start weeping water/break down if it's left at room temperature for too long. Worse if it's humid.

        You can try to use the mango recipe for the strawberries. Cooking for 45 minutes seems like a real long time and can give a cooked taste. Are you using a particular puree like perfect puree?

      2. re: chocolateman
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        Fleur RE: chocolateman Dec 20, 2008 11:58 PM

        I find the ecipes for Pate de Fruit in Gaston Lenotre's books, which are available in English, to be authentic and foolproof. Never uses pectin. Her has recipes for about 12 different kinds. They keep for a long time at room temp. Do not store in the fridge. They will weep and get soggy, ruining the beautiful dusted sugar coating and turning to mush,

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