Intro

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While serving dozens of cookie plates at the restaurant I would occasionally sneak in a taste for myself. After the Chocolate Chip Cookie, the little fruit jellies were my favorite item on the plate.

“This is the best fruit roll-up I’ve ever had” was my reaction after the first taste of a Pate de Fruit. Which was in fact the best compliment I could have given these little jewels.

Finding a fruit roll-up in my brown paper lunch bag as a child was a rarity. At my cousin’s house, however, my aunt kept the cupboards filled with such childhood favorites as Handi-Snacks – complete with the little red spatula to aid in the spreading of the neon orange “cheese”, Snack Packs, individually packaged chip bags (not surprisingly the Doritos were always the first to go) and of course Fruit-roll ups in every flavor, tongue changing color and pull-and-peel variety. I loved staying with my cousin as we were very close but it was the lunches my aunt packed us for school that kept me up at night, sleepless with excitement. When lunch time finally arrived I would save the best for the last – the fruit roll-up.

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I’m older now and my palette has “matured” since those days but I still can’t resist some of the flavors that take me back to my overly processed childhood such as this recipe for Apple Pate de Fruits.

From start to finish this recipe is an endeavor not for those in a rush. Your effort is rewarded with a candy intensely “apple”. Somehow in the process these little jellies manage to encapsulate all the is good with apples – soft sweetness, airy floral flavor and tartness to perfect the balance – in one bite.

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Carefully cut and dusted in granulated sugar these candies curb that afternoon sweet craving in one fragrant bite and make a very welcome addition to an afternoon or after dinner cookie plate – because cookies are an everyday occurrence in places other than my house right?! – please just say yes.

Without the crunchy coat of sugar these jellies are fast friends with a nice aged cheddar.

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The apple shaped beauties you see here were created with the assistance of little cookie cutters and will make a delightful snack during another day of mushroom foraging tomorrow.
With candies like this to keep me company I guess being a grown-up isn’t as bad as I once imagined it would be.

 

 

 

Apple Pate de Fruit

Apple Pate de Fruit
adapted from Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

This recipe can be used for jelly, apple paste or pate de fruit – depending on how long you cook the mixture. Continually check the consistency using a plate that is thoroughly chilled in the freezer.

8 medium apples (about 3 pounds) washed, quartered and cored – I used 4 Honeycrisp and 4 Granny Smith
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup + 1 tbl.)

Lightly coat an 8×8 baking dish with flavorless oil or pan spray. Line the bottom with parchment then lightly cover the parchment in oil.

In a large pot combine the apples and 1 cup water. Cover and cook over medium until the apples are soft. The amount of time this takes depends on what type of apples you use. The Granny Smiths were done around 20 minutes but I continued to cook for a total of 30-40 minutes until the Honeycrisps were soft and losing their skin.

Press the mixture through a fine sieve to end up with a smooth, peel-free puree.

Return the puree to the pot and add the salt, sugar and lemon juice. This mixture will now simmer for at least an hour. Stir often and watch for changes in thickness, scrape the bottom of the pan often as it can easily scorch with all that sugar. You may want to wear an oven mit while stirring as the mixture spatters and – speaking from experience – to say it’s hot is an understatement.

In the original recipe it said the mixture is done when it holds a mounded shape. After being on the burner for well over an hour mine still never mounded. So instead I transferred it to the prepared baking dish then placed it in an oven set at 150* for one hour. I let it set to cool for a few hours the bottom was still softer then I liked so I inverted it, placed it back in the pan and dried it in the oven again for an hour.

I wanted firm jellies – if you are using this as apple paste you won’t have to dry it for as long. Also you can quickly test the consistency by keeping a plate in the freezer then place a small amount of the jelly on the plate to set. Once cool check the consistency.

After all the cooking and drying I let it sit on the counter overnight. In the morning I removed the jellies from the pan and was easily able to slice them with a sharp knife.

You can cut them and roll them in granulated sugar or get crazy with cookie cutters. These little sweets served with an aged cheddar are out of this world.

39 Responses to “Apple Pate de Fruit”

  1. Divina

    They’re just gorgeous. I thought they’re Turkish delights but even better. I love biting on a few of these treats.

    Reply
  2. Dana

    That type of candy is my dad’s absolute favorite. I have thought of making them before for him but the recipes I have seen always include gelatin – not good for a veg. (He isn’t but I am.) Thanks for sharing your tips on making these just perfect!

    Reply
  3. Julie

    Color me wowed! Beautiful pics and I love the idea of the cheese and fruit pate especially

    Reply
  4. Helen

    Ah well, you can imagine what I am going to say about that one: “gimme gimme gimme”. I also feel like adding “do you need a pate de fruit eating nanny?”

    Gorgeous Ashley!

    Reply
  5. Connie

    When the mignardises come out, I’ve always got my eye on the pate de fruit. I love how tender they are. The apple with cheddar is genius. So glad you posted this!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      D. – Each fruit you use will be different because of the varying levels of pectin. I will be experimenting with Quince soon and if I am happy with the results I will post that recipe as well.

      Reply
  6. Kate at Serendipity

    I love pate de fruits. Here in Belgium we get them at the local chocolate shop, in all sorts of flavors: apple, pear, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, plum, even fig. Sometimes I can bet the chocolatier to take some before they’re sprinkled with sugar and cover them with dark chocolate–YUM!

    I lovelovelove your idea of cutting them with sharp cheddar. That’s a stroke of genius.

    Reply
  7. Jennifer

    I was very fond of fruit roll-ups as a child. Thanks for returning my hankering for the sweets, while also providing a fancy “mature” gem of a recipe.

    Reply
  8. tara

    When I was little I was jealous of the kids that got to stay for lunch – we lived close by and so came home. And if we did get a fruit treat it was this hippy-ish fruit leather that hurt to chew. Fruit roll-ups were dangerous, forbidden wonders to my 6-year–old mind.

    Now, I’d trade a boxful for one of these beauties. The addition of cheddar is brilliant.

    Reply
  9. Mel P.

    ha – this is right up my alley! Last year I made quince paste basically the same way. I peeled and cored them before cooking, but put the cores and peels in the pot too (for the pectin). As quinces tend to be a bit harder than apples, I pureed them in the meat grinder.

    Reply
  10. Julia

    I am so glad I saw this! I have recently become enamored of jellies and recently made apple cider jellies. They weren’t quite as apple-y as I wanted, or as firm. Still, I did love them. Apple jelly is gorgeous, the way it jells is amazing. Never thought I’d feel this way about jelly. Sigh. Your pictures are stunning, and your technique exacting. I don’t think I’ll ever get there, but one can hope. Heavy sigh.

    Reply
  11. Malini

    I just made this recipe and it came out fantastic. I reduced the amount of apples since I am trying it for the first time.

    Next round kilos are going into the pot!

    Thanks

    Reply
  12. S

    This is probably a stupid question, but I’ve never made this before and it looks so cool: if we just reduced the water a little, could that help cut the drying-out time in the oven?

    Reply
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  14. grace

    I made these yesterday, following your instructions without the oven dry time. I had a mound, so I thought it wouldn’t be necessary.

    The smell alone was enough to keep me making these with our autumn apples each year. They are like little drops of apple cider. I made the candies for our Halloween treat- door hanger & noticed that the sugar coating turned into a sweet liquor. Is there a way to prevent this? Maybe it was not dry enough? I think I will to cover some in chocolate next time.

    Thanks for the recipe & the great instruction!

    Reply
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