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DJ Silverchild

Another Pate De Fruit Question again

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This years berries are juicier than last years. The blackberries are at least twice the size. Because I use fresh local fruit from several different farms up here, the water content I'm starting out with is inconsistent and some of my jellies, raspberry and blackberry, are coming out too soft.

 

I've tried adding 10-15% pear and that's helping a little but not enough. I currently add 25 grams of pectin to my pate de fruit and cook them to 225 degrees.  What would be more effective: adding an extra gram of pectin or cooking the jellies to 126 degrees?

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The refractometer helped us set the recipe temperatures. Apparently our blackberry and raspberry jellies need to get to 80 brix, which we hit at 227, and even then they're a little soft and weepy but at least can be sold. We are doing 85% berries and 15% pears which has helped but we can't seem to match our blueberry, strawberry and peach. I've been thinking of trying extra pectin.

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Pears or apples are added when you need to "round" the taste of the main fruit when it's too sharp or similar reasons (passion fruit, lemon...).

What sets the pate de fruits is the pectin (both in the fruit and the one you are adding), not the body of the fruit puree. Figs have a lot of body but you need lots of added pectin. You can make water pate de fruit if you want (water + sugars + pectin + acid).

If you are starting from fresh fruit and not frozen purees (which is a great thing in my opinion, I don't like frozen purees), then you need to adapt each time. Only way is cooking a microbatch then adapt. If they are weeping then you need to add pectin. Which seems natural, since you wrote your fruit is juicer this year, this means the % of pectin in the fruit is much lower. Beware each fruit has different content of natural pectin, so you need to add different amounts of pectin for each different fruit, you can't base your recipes adding 25 g pectin each time for each fruit, for example blackberries on average have much more pectin than strawberries. No need to go over 106° C (223 F) in my experience (sea level).

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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Kerry: I use the Boiron PDF as a template.

 

teonzo: Blackberries are my problem. In previous years someone foraged them for me and the berries were much smaller. This year I reached out to a local farm and they're huge! About half of the blackberries were at least an inch tall and I'm not exaggerating. I'll add some more pectin. Thank you.

 

 

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Beware there are various subspecies in the rubus family, each one producing different blackberries. Wild ones give small blackberries, much richer in taste and pectin, acidity can vary a lot. Cultivated ones give bigger blackberries that are juicier, less taste and less pectin, usually they are pretty acid.

So you need to adjust the amount of pectin and even the amount of citric acid. Sometimes I added around 10 g pectin for 1 kg of blackberry puree when using the wild ones, otherwise I ended with a brick. Pay attention to acidity too, otherwise you risk to go out of the correct window for gelling, especially with acidic blackberries like the cultivated ones.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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On 10/28/2019 at 8:10 PM, teonzo said:

Teo, I am having issues with the cultivated ones. Are you recommending less citric acid than normal? 
I'm adding the pears because the pears have lots of pectin but I'll try adding more pectin next time.

 

 

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It's impossible to give a precise answer without having the real stuff in front of me.

 

To work properly you need a refractometer and a pH-meter.
The refractometer is normally used to check the final concentration of the pate de fruit. But it's also useful to check the solids concentration in the fruit puree you are going to use, which is one of the problems here. Frozen fruit purees are standardized, meaning the producers mix them in a way that the final product has always the same values (pH, sugar content, pectin content, so on). You can't rely on this if you start from fresh fruit, since fresh fruit can vary a lot  (variety from variety, season from season, area from area, so on). If you measure the puree you are going to use with a refractometer then you get a good idea on the sugar and pectin content of that puree, compared to other purees of the same fruit (underscore "same fruit").
The pH-meter gives you the pH value of the puree you are using (how much acid it is). If you don't want to invest on a pH-meter then you can buy litmus paper, it's really cheap. After measuring the pH of the puree you have a good idea of how much citric acid you need to add to your pate de fruit.

 

HM pectin (the one used for pate de fruits) need a pH between 2.5 and 3.5 for proper gelling. So the first thing you need to do is measuring the pH of the pate de fruit you made and is giving troubles. If the pH is outside that window, then you know that the problem to be fixed is the amount of citric acid to add. If the pH is inside that window, then you need to add more pectin.

 

Beware that pears do not have high pectin content, on the contrary. You just need a quick google search. Wikipedia says they have high pectin content, but NEVER trust what you find on wikipedia. If you open more serious pages you'll find that pears are among the fruits with low pectin content. It just takes a bit of experience on jam making: pear jam (without added pectin) is one of the less firm, just like figs. Pear puree is used to round the taste (because it's a fruit with mild and neutral taste, it gets owerpowered by most other fruits) in pate de fruits, not for adding good amounts of pectin.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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