Saturday, August 28, 2010

Loving Local: Local Candy

Well, I did it! I actually met my goal and blogged every single day this week about local goodies!

If you've missed any of the Loving Local Blogathon days, go here and catch up on all the posts you've missed! And please, help support Massachusetts Farmer's Markets. Keep buying local- especially with all the beautiful fall veggies ripening! (apples, anyone?)

The last day of this blogathon will end on a sweet note, and marks the end of the reign of peaches in my kitchen.

Over the past 2 weeks, about 35lbs of local, fresh peaches have passed through my kitchen- not counting the ones purchased at grocery stores. (I really like peaches, can you tell?) The last 5 lbs were eaten plain, eaten after boiling to remove the skins (when I discovered peaches are good at room temp, but amazing warm- I do miss the skins on the boiled and skinned versions, though), sliced and frozen (for pie, or just eating plain- but since they formed a big frozen block, I'm thinking pie) and made into....

candy.

That's right, I made pate de fruit. This is a French jelly candy, made with sugar, fruit puree and pectin, that my dad always has to bring us when he goes to France on business (which used to be regularly- lucky!!). Whenever my mom sees this kind of candy, she has to buy it. Trader Joe's even has a pretty good version, but I try not to indulge too often- they sell it in fairly large containers, and I probably shouldn't have that much pure sugar. I'm also not sure about how much real fruit goes into their candies.

I was really excited when I found this recipe. It has 4 ingredients, and yes, it does require a candy thermometer, but I've found other recipes that don't need a thermometer. This is a really easy way to get your own fancy jelly candy, although sometimes, it might be worth spending the $8 for a package of 18 candies. You can decide.

Peach Pate de Fruit,
recipe from Treats, who found it from Tartelette.

Ingredients:
380g peach puree
1T lemon juice
400g sugar, divided (100g and 300g)
1 package liquid pectin (in the baking aisle, kind of by the spices and/or jello, I used Certo's liquid pectin in the blue box)

Tools:
candy thermometer
medium saucepan
parchment-lined 8x8 baking dish
a tireless arm, as you will stir this constantly from start to finish

Puree the fruit: I boiled for 5 min then dunked in an ice bath to peel the skins, then weighed out 380g (ok, 384g, close enough) after removing skins and pits and pureed that in the blender.

In the saucepan, combine the fruit puree, lemon juice, and 100g sugar. Stir over medium heat, until it begins to boil. Stir constantly. Slight issue here: both Treat's and Tartelette's recipes said to cook until the mixture reaches 113F, but if you think about it.... 113F is just warm water. Jacques Pepin, whom I trust entirely, just says to boil for 10 minutes. So I kind of did that. It got a bit abvet 200F during this time.

Add the remaining 300g sugar and pectin, and stir to combine. Keep stirring and maintain temp at 200F for 4 minutes, adjusting burner heat as needed.

Then turn burner to high and bring up to 223F and maintain that temp for 4 minutes (it gets really goopy and bubbly at this point). I actually only got to about 220F, I couldn't take it anymore, and the heat was set to highhigh as it was. It was ok. After 4 minutes at 223F, pour the gooey mixture into the prepared parchment-lined pan. Let set overnight (I loosely covered the dish), cut into squares or with a cute little cutter, and roll each cut pate de fruit in sugar- they're quite sticky.

Enjoy! Make these and share them, all your friends will be incredibly impressed at your candy-making skillz.

(I do have to admit, however: they don't taste exactly like the French candies, or even the Trader Joe's candies, the texture is a bit off. That being said, the flavor is far beyond the Trader Joe's version, and nearly as good as the French stuff. I declare this is a fine substitution. And as always, making candy is a lot of fun.)

1 comment:

Michael said...

What an amazing idea!
Tinky