These ancient sweets are called pâte de fruits ”maison”. ”Maison” means house in French. The candies are very easy and require only a few ingredients: fruit pulp, pectin and sugar. The flavor is similar to fruit leather, but with a softer texture.
I made strawberry fruit purée and added fresh loquats as well. The key is to use freshly picked, extremely ripe, naturally sweet fruits to ensure optimum flavor. Once the fruit pulp is cooked, you’ll need to air-dry the candies for at least 12 hours, cut them and roll them in sugar. The texture should be soft and the taste should be fruity, without being overly sweet.
I usually make these candies when I have very ripe fruits in the garden. You could make them from any fruit purée, such as blackberries, quince, blueberries, cherries, lemon, gooseberries, cantaloupe, peach or plum. Let your imagination run wild! I’ve always found making homemade candies so much fun because of how flexible the recipes are.
These ”mignardises” (pretty, delicate sweets in French) are delicious to take to a picnic or as homemade gifts. That is, if you don’t finish them off first!
1. Info for Loquat and Strawberry Pate de Fruits Recipe (French Fruit Jelly Candies)
- Cook Time: 60 mins
- Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
- Servings: 50
- Calories: 123kcal
2. Ingredients for Loquat and Strawberry Pate de Fruits Recipe (French Fruit Jelly Candies)
- 3 pints fresh strawberries, you might need more to reach 18 oz of fruit purée
- ½ cup fresh loquats
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 5-½ teaspoons powdered pectin
- ½ teaspoon citric acid powder, +1/8 teaspoon for coating
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder (optional)
- 1 candy thermometer
- The day before… In one bowl, combine 1-¼ cups sugar with pectin. Mix well. Set aside.
- In another bowl, combine 1-¼ cups sugar and citric powder. Set aside.
- Wash, peel and seed the loquats. Coarsely chop them and place them in a blender.
- Stem the strawberries and add them to the blender as well. Blend the fruits. Strain the pulp through a medium-mesh sieve, using a silicone spatula to press through as much fruit purée as possible. Discard the solids.
- Using a digital scale, weigh 18 ounces of the seedless fruit purée.
- Place a candy thermometer on the wall of a small pot. Fill with the fruit purée. Bring to a boil, then immediately add the pectin/sugar mix. Stir well and bring back to a boil; add the other citric/sugar mix and the light corn syrup. Stir well using a wooden spoon and cook until the temperature reaches 221-223°F. It will take some time until it reaches a rolling boil (pretty scary , don’t forget to wear flame-resistant oven mitts), remains the same temperature and cooks for an additional 3 minutes.