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Pâte de Fruits (Fruit Paste/Fruit Jellies) (Part 1)


elizabethnathan
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Hi, I'm new to eGullet so excuse me if I say something ridiculously idiotic.

I've been following this blog for a while because I've wanted to make pates for Valentines day. I've also tried twice using a recipe from the French Laundry. It hasn't worked.

I used light corn syrup, granulated sugar, Knox unflavored pectin, apples, lychees, peaches, and oranges, and lemon juice for citric acid. Unfortunately after everytime I make them, they 'weep'. They set very well and were firm but moist.

They keep weeping! I toss them in sugar and in a few minutes they turn into sugary ooze. Does anyone know why this might be happening?

Are you really using Pectin or is it gelatin(e)?

I suppose your thermometer could be off... I have 4 or 5 in the kitchen and they all read differently in the same container of whatever.

Are you measuring Brix? Should be ok if you take it up to 75BRIX.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Thank you for your reply!

My box says pectin. And I've actually been using two types, this kind and apple pectin (certo liquid). Same effect on both. EDIT: (I've tried two more times since my last post.) I don't actually have a refractometer since they are so expensive, so I can't say much about brix.

How many minutes (rough estimate) do you generally cook your mixture after it reaches 106-107º?

Hi, I'm new to eGullet so excuse me if I say something ridiculously idiotic.

I've been following this blog for a while because I've wanted to make pates for Valentines day. I've also tried twice using a recipe from the French Laundry. It hasn't worked.

I used light corn syrup, granulated sugar, Knox unflavored pectin, apples, lychees, peaches, and oranges, and lemon juice for citric acid. Unfortunately after everytime I make them, they 'weep'. They set very well and were firm but moist.

They keep weeping! I toss them in sugar and in a few minutes they turn into sugary ooze. Does anyone know why this might be happening?

Are you really using Pectin or is it gelatin(e)?

I suppose your thermometer could be off... I have 4 or 5 in the kitchen and they all read differently in the same container of whatever.

Are you measuring Brix? Should be ok if you take it up to 75BRIX.

Edited by Halois (log)
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Thank you for your reply!

My box says pectin. And I've actually been using two types, this kind and apple pectin (certo liquid). Same effect on both. EDIT: (I've tried two more times since my last post.) I don't actually have a refractometer since they are so expensive, so I can't say much about brix.

How many minutes (rough estimate) do you generally cook your mixture after it reaches 106-107º?

Hi, I'm new to eGullet so excuse me if I say something ridiculously idiotic.

I've been following this blog for a while because I've wanted to make pates for Valentines day. I've also tried twice using a recipe from the French Laundry. It hasn't worked.

I used light corn syrup, granulated sugar, Knox unflavored pectin, apples, lychees, peaches, and oranges, and lemon juice for citric acid. Unfortunately after everytime I make them, they 'weep'. They set very well and were firm but moist.

They keep weeping! I toss them in sugar and in a few minutes they turn into sugary ooze. Does anyone know why this might be happening?

Are you really using Pectin or is it gelatin(e)?

I suppose your thermometer could be off... I have 4 or 5 in the kitchen and they all read differently in the same container of whatever.

Are you measuring Brix? Should be ok if you take it up to 75BRIX.

At 107 C the brix is usually pretty close to 75, so if you don't have a refractometer, you just go with the temperature. But if you are still having problems perhaps go up a degree or two.

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For what its worth most of my PDFs go to 106 C. I also test them by leaving a plate in the freezer while I'm cooking the PDF. Before I take the PDF of the heat, dab a bit on the cold plate and make sure it doesn't "flow" out - it should hold its shape (nb: not a lot of time to do this testing, need to be quick because everything keeps cooking).

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I hve made only a few batches of pdf and yesterday I made a 1/2 batch using the passion fruit Borion recipe. I found that the puree was burning on the very bottom of my pot. I was stirring and I was using a high heat. What temperature should my stove be at? Should I use medium-high heat, or medium, or ?. My kids were asking me what is burning as my whole house had a burnt odour!! I did pour the unburnt part into a tray and today they seem quite good. Another question is what brand and model of refractometer do you recommend? I would appreciate all and any advice.

Thanks.

Deb.

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I hve made only a few batches of pdf and yesterday I made a 1/2 batch using the passion fruit Borion recipe.  I found that the puree was burning on the very bottom of my pot.  I was stirring and I was using a high heat.  What temperature should my stove be at? Should I use medium-high heat, or medium, or ?.  My kids were asking me what is burning as my whole house had a burnt odour!!  I did pour the unburnt part into a tray and today they seem quite good. Another question is what brand and model of refractometer do you recommend?  I would appreciate all and any advice.

Thanks.

Deb.

The Boiron recipe is tricky. You really do have to keep stirring vigorously and constantly to keep the apricot puree from burning. I use a medium high heat but you have have to adjust for your own equipment. I also use a heavy copper-clad pot and that can certainly make all the difference.

Unless you're doing this professionally, I don't think the cost of a refractometer is justified. Instead, I recommend a good thermometer like a $25 Polder. If I cook it to the right temperature, it's *always* at the right BRIX (refractometer index).

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I will be doing it professionally and will gladly pay the price for a good refractometer. I just bought a laser infrared thermometer for $100 and I can't believe I went this long without one.

Mine is a Sper Scientific and I think I got it at jbprince.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I also use a heavy copper-clad pot and that can certainly make all the difference.

I would second this - you need to have a good quality, heavy, saucepan or pot. I use a saucepan but it is a thick-bottomed one

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Thaks for the help. The pan I used was not a heavy bottomed pan and I did 1/2 batch of the Borion. Overall, the Nan King cherry pdf turned out very nice. I was carefull as to not go near the burnt bottom!! I am considering buying an induction stovetop for my counter to do caramels, pdf, etc.

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Thaks for the help. The pan I used was not a heavy bottomed pan and I did 1/2 batch of the Borion.  Overall, the Nan King cherry pdf turned out very nice. I was carefull as to not go near the burnt bottom!!  I am considering buying an induction stovetop for my counter to do caramels, pdf, etc.

The induction cooktop is excellent for doing caramels and fruit jellies. Your thermometer and spatulas don't get hot.

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  • 3 weeks later...
The recipe dictates adding the pectin to a quantity of 500g puree. And adding that portion to the rest of the puree and sugar.  Is there a scientific reasoning behind this?  And what woud the outcome be adding the pectin at the end?  Also, when adding citric acid solution, I assume it is added at the end.....What would be the chemical changes if it were added in the beginning versus the end? 

You say some fruits resist cooking higher than 205-210?  Which fruits in your experience?  What is the reasoning behind this phenomenon?

When I got home last night I checked my Wybauw and saw that he mixes his pectin/sugar into half the the puree. I'm not sure why, <snip>

I'm replying to an old post so I apologize if someone has already said this...

The reason you mix the pectin and sugar first is to prevent the pectin from clumping when you add it to the puree. I don't know if it's always necessary but sounds like a reasonable precaution.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Refractometers have dropped considerably in price in the last couple of years. I was just looking on eBay and saw several in the 40-90 Brix range for between $30-80. We have two - an Atago (58-90 Brix) that set us back $200+ in 2004, and a No-Name from China (0-80 Brix) that we paid about $100 for in 2005. With such low prices currently, there's no reason not to have one and make sure your PDF is cooked to a T.

We use a solid copper "jam" pot for our PDF. It's 16" in diameter and is a joy to work with. We also have a pair of solid copper "sugar" pots that we use for other sorts of sugar cooking, and occasionally for PDF. All three are the quintessence of "heavy-duty." We got them all through Previn, in Philadelphia.

I've never used an induction cooker. Would it work with solid copper ware? What would be the advantages?

Cheers,

Steve

Steve Smith

Glacier Country

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Refractometers have dropped considerably in price in the last couple of years. I was just looking on eBay and saw several in the 40-90 Brix range for between $30-80. We have two - an Atago (58-90 Brix) that set us back $200+ in 2004, and a No-Name from China (0-80 Brix) that we paid about $100 for in 2005. With such low prices currently, there's no reason not to have one and make sure your PDF is cooked to a T.

We use a solid copper "jam" pot for our PDF. It's 16" in diameter and is a joy to work with. We also have a pair of solid copper "sugar" pots that we use for other sorts of sugar cooking, and occasionally for PDF. All three are the quintessence of "heavy-duty." We got them all through Previn, in Philadelphia.

I've never used an induction cooker. Would it work with solid copper ware? What would be the advantages?

Cheers,

Steve

I paid about $300 as I recall for the refractomer I bought. I've been eyeing the cheap ones on e-bay recently too.

The advantage of the induction cooker as I see it is that your thermometer, and the spatula you stir with doesn't get hot. Instant on and off is great too. The pans contents start to boil almost immediately.

I don't think copper will work on it though. I was making some caramel the other day and found that only a couple of the pots I have will work on it. If a magnet will stick to the bottom of the pot it will work on the induction cooktop.

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For those that use refractometers, do the ones you use compensate for the high temperature? All that I've come across say that you are supposed to take the reading with a room temperature sample which obviously isn't possible with PDF.

Also for those that mold their PDF, how do you do so? When I make mine and pour them onto the silpat they set almost immediately to the point where I can't even level them out without 'breaking' the top skin and getting lumps.

Any help would be great.

Thanks in advance.

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For those that use refractometers, do the ones you use compensate for the high temperature? All that I've come across say that you are supposed to take the reading with a room temperature sample which obviously isn't possible with PDF.

Also for those that mold their PDF, how do you do so? When I make mine and pour them onto the silpat they set almost immediately to the point where I can't even level them out without 'breaking' the top skin and getting lumps.

Any help would be great.

Thanks in advance.

I don't know if mine is supposed to compensate or not. I just take the reading and if it's in the ball park - it's done.

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For those that use refractometers, do the ones you use compensate for the high temperature? All that I've come across say that you are supposed to take the reading with a room temperature sample which obviously isn't possible with PDF.

Also for those that mold their PDF, how do you do so? When I make mine and pour them onto the silpat they set almost immediately to the point where I can't even level them out without 'breaking' the top skin and getting lumps.

Any help would be great.

Thanks in advance.

I don't know if mine is supposed to compensate or not. I just take the reading and if it's in the ball park - it's done.

Ditto. But a single drop of PDF cools pretty fast so it's not really an issue.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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  • 1 month later...

What sort of range should I be looking for in a refractometer? I want one for finding the sugar content of a liquid (drink) as well. Do I need to get different ranges for different applications or is there a good central range that will work across many applications?

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What sort of range should I be looking for in a refractometer? I want one for finding the sugar content of a liquid (drink) as well. Do I need to get different ranges for different applications or is there a good central range that will work across many applications?

To cover both ranges you'd need something like this one.

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I have been looking at pH strips and the wider the range, the smaller the accuracy. Is this the case with refractometers? Would it be better to buy two, like 0-50 and 50-90 brix to assure higher accuracy?

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I have been looking at pH strips and the wider the range, the smaller the accuracy. Is this the case with refractometers? Would it be better to buy two, like 0-50 and 50-90 brix to assure higher accuracy?

I suspect it's probably true, that the two ranges would be more accurate than the single range, but I'm not sure how much difference it would make for the pates de fruit. You are kind of watching for a brix in the 75 range - exact doesn't seem to make a huge difference. Perhaps more for the liquids you need to measure.

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  • 2 months later...

Pate de Fruit is one of my favorite confections and some of my customers are interested in carrying it. I'm not sure of the shelf life although it does begin to "melt" a bit after 3-4 weeks. I know with chocolate you can freeze chocolates to extend shelf life but I'm wondering what can be done with Pate de Fruit, if anything. Freezing doesn't seem like it would work but I've never tried and would be interested to hear what others have done as well as what the actual shelf life of the Pate de Fruit is generally considered to be. Thanks. Bill

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There might be a newer solution now, but Sucraset at about .03-.05% will prevent leakage somewhat. Storage temperature is more important though. If you store it in a cool dry place it should hold for a long time.

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