I have to begin by saying this recipe comes from my dear friend and chef Sebastien Thieffine. I made my first pâte de fruits under his guidance and I haven’t stopped ever since.
I could go on and on about Sebastien and the three years I worked for him. He was able to create harmony out of chaos and really developed a great team of pastry chefs. I would describe it as a magical time or as he liked to call it, “the Dream Team”. He was a great motivator which made us want to work hard for him and show him “what we were made of”. In return, he taught us everything he knew, shared all his recipes, knowledge and encouraged us to learn outside of our small pastry kitchen. I learned many technical skills but most importantly, I learned how to run an organized and efficient kitchen. I have never wanted to work so hard for anybody else in my life! I owe so much to him…
I made pâte de fruits for Christmas as part of my holiday gifts and all the recipients were delighted and impressed. The truth is that pâte de fruit is really easy to make. It does require some special tools and ingredients but it is not technically challenging and the result is a sweet, colorful and fun confection. Just like macaroons, pâte de fruit can be made with infinite flavor combinations; I have even seen savory versions.
That said, I have to admit that the first time I made pâte the fruit at home, my thermometer was not well calibrated and it ended up resembling a thin jam more than the “gummy” candy that is supposed to be. So make sure you have a calibrated thermometer before you start any of this!
The other special tool that I have is a square stainless steel frame that I use to cast the pâte de fruit in but I don’t think it’s necessary. It can also be poured into a parchment lined half sheet pan and it works just fine. I also find that having a cold surface such as granite or marble really helps because it allows the pâte de fruit to cool down faster.
RASPBERRY PATE DE FRUIT
I bought a lot of frozen fruit purees and the rest of the ingredients for my Christmas project from L’Epicerie, which is a specialty store that carries many hard-to-find ingredients. It’s a beautiful online store and I really encourage you to check it out.
I recommend that you have all your ingredients scaled and your pan prepared before you start cooking the recipe. Like I mentioned, I use a stainless steel square frame that I place on top of a silpat on a marble.
500 grams of raspberry puree
200 grams of whole raspberries, fresh or frozen
15 grams of yellow pectin
75 grams of granulated sugar
750 grams of granulated sugar
150 grams glucose
12 grams tartaric acid solution*
12 grams framboise or kirsch
In a large saucepan, warm raspberry puree and whole raspberries to 40ºC.
In a bowl, whisk apple pectin and 75 grams of sugar until they are well mixed. This is important to avoid lumps when we add them to the fruit. Add this mixture to raspberries and return to a boil.
Add 750 grams of sugar and glucose. Cook mixture to 106ºC while whisking. It will bubble up so make sure to use a large pot.
When it reaches 106ºC, turn off the heat and add the alcohol and the tartaric acid solution. Pour the fruit into your frame and let it sit until it cools down and solidifies.
Cut it into squares or other shapes and roll in granulated sugar before serving.
*The tartaric acid solution is a mixture of equal parts of tartaric acid and water.
There is nothing more beautiful than to give or to receive a nicely packaged box of homemade, colorful pâte de fruit. I know mine will be all gone soon! I hear in the background… “ama, coco… ama, coco”…