Friday, January 15, 2010
Pate a Fruits
Edie and I have been cooking together more often since she and I moved into the same neighbourhood (hooray for neighbours!).
First we made macarons (Chocolate and Prune from David Liebovitz). They were a great success, and our next mission was to make Pate a Fruits. I've personally only ever had one measley serving of the stuff, at Canoe Restaurant as a part of a dessert dish. It was delicious, and we aimed to try to veganize it.
What was interesting about this adventure was that we each used a slightly different recipe and different ingredients. Hers was to be a mango pate de fruits, while mine would be apple. Mine had juice in it, while hers did not. Hers had more pectin in it, and no straining.
God, I wish mine had required no straining. I microwaved fresh apples and pears, then smushed them through a wire sieve (which took the better part of an hour).
We both stood at the stove, adding pectin to our fruity, lemony mixtures, and stirring. We had no candy thermometers, so we guessed when the mixtures had come to the appropriate temperature, and then poured them into containers lined with parchment paper to set.
Next morning: they're still loose. No lovely jelly.
We both try to salvage ours by boiling them again. This time, I added agar to mine while she added gelatin to hers. We both got a great result this time! Mind you, we'd been futzing with this jelly for hours.
Some issues: I ended up with WAY TOO MUCH JELLY, and had to throw a bunch of it away. I don't know what I was thinking. No one wants more than a couple of small pieces of fruit jelly, and some people don't want even that!
Also, I sugared it the night before, and it got sweaty and had a runny, honey-like coating the next morning. That didn't prevent kind co-workers from eating it, but it felt like a bit of a fail.
So remember, Liz, for you French fruit jelly is not worth the effort!