Introduction: Pâte De Fruits

Picture of Pâte De Fruits

Fancy French term for the best dang candy ever. Or possibly fruit pulp. Only the French know for sure. These are a fruit candy that have a consistency like an extremely firm jelly (which, incidentally, is pretty much exactly what they are). I frequently dabble at candy-making, and this time decided to document the results.

Unfortunately I didn't really think about it until the cooking was done, so I only have pictures of the post-cooking steps.

Step 1: Ingredients and Recipe

Picture of Ingredients and Recipe

For this attempt, I'm working from a recipe I found online. I made two batches, one in mango and one in strawberry. I've also seen severalrecipes for other versions of this that work a bit differently. The cooking time/temperature will depend on the type of fruit you're using.

1.5 cups mango pulp/pureed mango
1.5 cups pureed strawberries
2.5 cups sugar
1 tbsp butter
6 fl oz liquid pectin

My grocery store doesn't currently have fresh mango, so I used cut, jarred mango. One 24oz jar yielded roughly the 1.5 cups I needed. A 16oz container of fresh strawberries gave me my 1.5 cups of pureed strawberries -- at least it did after I threw out several for being overripe.

Pectin can usually be found either in the baking aisle -- usually in the same area as unflavored gelatin packets -- or possibly with canning supplies if your grocery store carries them.

I'll detail the process a bit more in a few steps, but in case the original site is down or moved, I'm copying the complete instructions here verbatim.

1. Prepare an 8x8-inch square pan by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spraying the bottom with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Cook mango pulp and sugar together in a medium saucepan over low heat until they form a very thick syrup. Depending on the thickness of your pulp, it will take between 30 minutes  1 hour. The syrup should thickly coat the back of a spoon or spatula.

3. Once the syrup has thickened enough, add the butter and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring constantly.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in the pectin while hot. Pour immediately into prepared pan.

5. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight until set.

6. Once the candies are completely set, cut them into small squares with a knife dipped in water. They can be rolled in granulated sugar or left plain. The sugar makes them easier to store and stack, as it prevents them from sticking together.

7. Candies can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools

You'll need the following:
Food processor or blender to puree the fruit
8x8 or similar pan (I used a 8x6 to end up with a slightly thicker final product)
medium saucepan -- You'll want something that conducts and holds heat well. Thin, cheap pans won't heat evenly and you may end up burning the fruit/sugar mixture in spots. Currently I'm using a 1.5L Corning Visionware glass saucepan that is most likely from the 70's.

And some minor other items:
aluminum foil or parchment paper
nonstick spray or similar
metal spoon or similar to stir the mixture -- do not use a wooden or plastic utensil. Whatever you use should be heat resistant to several hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
sharp knife
wax paper and container to store the finished candy in

Step 3: Cooking

Puree your fruit. It should be a uniform consistency, without any big lumps or chunks left.
Measure 1.5 cups of the puree into the saucepan. Add the 2.5 cups of sugar to this and mix it together.

Put the saucepan on the stove on a low or medium-low burner. Stir constantly at first until it looks like the sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it forms a thick syrup. My strawberry ones were cooking for about 35-40 minutes and they turned out much softer than the mango ones (which I cooked for about 50 minutes). I intend to retry a strawberry batch with a longer cooking time at some point.

While it's cooking, line your pan with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or something similar to ease candy removal later. You can also spray it with non-stick spray, though this is not absolutely necessary.

Stir the butter in to melt it and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in your 6oz of pectin completely. Immediately pour the mixture out into your prepared pan.

Let it cool down to room temperature. Cover it and allow to set completely. The recipe I followed suggests doing this in the refrigerator, however I've had bad luck in the past with jelly and gummy candies not setting properly in the refrigerator, and other sites I checked suggested simply covering and leaving out overnight. This is what I did with the strawberry ones. The mango ones were left covered and out for about 8 hours before I judged them firm enough to continue.

Step 4: Cutting

Picture of Cutting

After the candies are completely set they should be firm and spring back if you press lightly on them.

Lift up your paper/foil liner to remove the candy from the pan, then flip it over onto a cutting board and peel the liner off the candy.

Cut the candy into 1 inch or so squares -- or whatever shape you want really.

Once it's cut you'll move on to sugaring.

Step 5: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

Pour some sugar into a small container. Place each piece of candy into the container and coat it lightly with sugar. This is not strictly necessary, however it will help prevent them from sticking to each other when stored.

I layered the pieces in a small plastic container by placing a piece of wax paper between each layer of candy to further prevent sticking.

As long as you have a good airtight seal, these should keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Step 6: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

The final product is quite tasty. I must say I was a bit disappointed in the flavor from the mango batch. My current suspect is the use of jarred mango since I couldn't find fresh at the time. The strawberry batch is delicious, though a bit softer than I would like and could probably have done with a longer cooking time.

At the time of writing this it's been 3 days for the strawberry and 2 for the mango. They're doing okay in terms of keeping, however they have gotten a bit moist/sticky on the surface and have managed to mostly dissolve the sugar coating. I'm not sure if this is indicative of an incomplete set (either from a too-short cooking time, or a too-short set time) or if this is due to my containers not being sealed well enough resulting in added humidity from the refrigerator getting in and disrupting them. In any case, they do not appear to actually be suffering from this, rather it's just a cosmetic and stickiness issue.


Ethan1023 (author)2016-11-25

It's called Turkish Delight.

daenris (author)Ethan10232016-11-27

Turkish delight is a starch based gel, while pate de fruits are a pectin based gel. Similar idea, but a starch based gel will have a different texture and mouthfeel than a pectin based gel.

shingonzo (author)2008-09-18

can this be made with splenda or will that not work?

daenris (author)shingonzo2008-09-18

My guess would be no. Pectin needs sugar to work properly to get the right set/firmness. Obviously there would be sugar in the fruit, but I suspect that it wouldn't be enough. They do make (in powder form at least, not sure about liquid) pectin that works with lower levels of sugar, so some experimentation could be done with that. Next time I try this I plan to use less sugar, and either try to cook the fruit mixture longer to get a higher concentration of natural sugars in it, or start with a fruit that has a high level of pectin to begin with (like apples).

deh260583 (author)daenris2009-11-16

Yeah, it's true. Pectin need sugar to be properly set. But there's a way to manipulate the pectin. You can add some calcium  (you can add some limestone water) to the batch. The calcium will help the pectin set without sugar. That's the way diabetic jelly made. (Sorry for bad english grammar/spelling, I'm from Indonesia, food science student.)

daenris (author)deh2605832009-11-17

 That's pretty cool.  I'm going to have to look into that and try to make some sugar-free jelly candy, or maybe just some low sugar pate de fruit.

wylona (author)daenris2016-11-17

Pomona has a little packet of calcium powder in the box for those fruits that are low in natural pectin.

Pomona's Universal Pectin - our sugar-free, preservative-free, low-methoxyl citrus pectinmakes low sugar jam & jelly with low amounts of any sweetener.

shingonzo (author)daenris2008-09-18

alright cool, thanks.

I_am_Canadian (author)2008-09-17

Is this not called turkish delight?

wobblestar (author)I_am_Canadian2008-09-17

No. Turkish Delight is a starch-based gel. This recipe is proper Pâte de Fruits!

daenris (author)wobblestar2008-09-17

Indeed, that's true. I've actually never had Turkish delight, but I've been told they have similar textures. I have a couple recipes for it, so I shall have to try making that sometime to compare.

thepelton (author)daenris2009-04-10

I never heard of Turkish Delight until I first saw "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". Sounds tasty. I'm not sure I'd sell out for it, though.

RondaE1 (author)thepelton2016-05-17


skaar (author)thepelton2011-04-02

there's something similar in big turk candy bars... chocolate coated turkish delight, probably every last bit of it fake, or wrong, but there's an easy place to get a taste.

susie (author)thepelton2010-12-21

I love Turkish Delight and recently visited someone who has a business making it! The texture is much chewier than pate de fruit, even more chewy than commercial fruit jellies (the ones cut out like fruit pieces) too. Corn syrup is the main reason it gets so chewy. Corn syrup is often used in chewy caramel too.

daenris (author)susie2010-12-21

It's actually corn starch I believe that provides the texture. Turkish delight is a starch based candy instead of pectin (as in pate de fruit) or gelatin (as in gummy bears). Corn syrup on the other hand is included in many different sugar based candies as it helps prevent unwanted sugar crystallization.

thepelton (author)susie2010-12-21

My Mother was seriously allergic to corn, and although I know I am not, I try not to push my luck. I was afraid that I could develop a similar allergy, so although I don't totally reject it, I don't try to subject myself to too much at a time.

I_am_Canadian (author)wobblestar2008-09-17

Coolio. (author)2014-11-14

do you think corn starch and powdered sugar would be better? that's what they cover turkish delights with and those things store for months.

lzhong103 (author)2014-01-14

Have you tried the other recipes yet?

daenris (author)lzhong1032014-01-20

I haven't really made any more Pâte de Fruits in awhile unfortunately.

aazrhael (author)2012-11-27

if i dont have pecatin can i use unflavored gelatin?

daenris (author)aazrhael2012-11-27

You could, with a few caveats. The end product will not be the same candy. Gelatin leads to a much firmer, chewy texture (like a gummy candy), while pectin yields a softer jelly-like texture. I'm not sure what the substitution ratio would be, so you'd probably need to experiment to find a good amount. Also, you generally want to hydrate gelatin in some cold water for a few minutes before adding it to hot liquids to melt it.

roulopa (author)2012-02-03

Nicely looking result although pâte de fruits does not contain butter nor pectin. You need a very long cooking time and a setting time in a warm room for almost 48 hours before cutting and sugaring the pieces hence the price...

daenris (author)roulopa2012-02-03

I'd be interested in seeing a recipe if you have one as all the recipes I've found online or in cookbooks use additional pectin.

I know they can be made without it, but in that case the longer cooking time is just allowing the natural pectin in the fruit to achieve the same end effect. Adding pectin allows a shorter cooking time -- along with less chance of burning the fruit puree -- and also allows it to work well with fruits that have a very low level of natural pectin.

lyraleperformer (author)2009-02-21

what is liquid pectin?

daenris (author)lyraleperformer2009-02-22

Pectin is something that is in many fruits that contribute to gelling when cooked. Most fruits don't have enough of it on their own to set, so you have to add extra pectin. It comes in either powder or liquid form and can be found in most grocery stores -- usually either in the baking aisle, or with canning supplies if your store has a section for that, because it's used usually in making jelly. I've seen instructions on how to extract your own pectin from apples -- which contain a lot themselves -- but haven't gotten around to trying it yet.

thepelton (author)daenris2010-12-22

I read that the vegetable based pectin is naturally sweet, and can allow you to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe, and not end up with something too tart.

lyraleperformer (author)daenris2009-02-22

o ok just making sure what i'm putting into something i'm eating :D

eternalkitty (author)2010-08-01

In my somewhat novice knowledge of candymaking, I would guess that the pectin would actually act as the gelatinizing agent and the main mixture would only have to boil out much of the water, not reach a certain temp. Just my guess though.

daenris (author)eternalkitty2010-08-02

That's essentially just semantics. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but a solution of sugar and water boils at a higher temperature depending on the concentration of sugar. As the water boils off from the mixture, the boiling point continues to increase, allowing the mixture to reach higher temperatures. At a particular temperature you can estimate the amount of water vs sugar in the solution (hypothetically... don't actually ask me to do this, though I have a graph somewhere :) ). Also, it depends on the specific pectin, as different types of pectin have different setting temperatures. I also didn't actually cook to a specific temperature in this instructable, instead just cooking until the mixtures formed fairly thick syrups before adding the liquid pectin.

eternalkitty (author)daenris2010-08-02

Right; apparently I was trying to respond to an old comment and failed at it. Sorry to bother!

circuitbreaker (author)2010-01-09

Would it work with pectin powder?
What would I change in the recipe?

stayputnik (author)2010-01-08

The sticky sugar is due to the fact that sugar is extremely hydrophilic, so it will soak up any moisture nearby (mainly in the candy).  The only thing you can really do about that is add more sugar to the surface.

Quick question... candy making usually requires careful temperature measurement to make sure it has the right consistency (taffy vs. lolipop, for instance)... do you have any idea what temperature the sugar/pulp mixture should reach before you stir in the pectin?

zekiller2193 (author)2009-04-10

OMG OMG OMG OMG Pate de fruits. They cost so much but are so good!!!!!!! Thanks for the great instructable

lyraleperformer (author)2009-02-21

i've never heard of these before but they look good. i think i'll make them

volquete (author)2008-11-19

i saw pate' de fruits online in a french foods store for $22 in a pack of 9 candies. here you can make a bunch for about $10!

volquete (author)2008-11-14

in step 4 when he says 'sugaring', does he mean put sugar on the candy, or in the container like in step 5?

daenris (author)volquete2008-11-14

It refers to coating the candy lightly in sugar. The method I usually use to do this is to put some sugar into a container, then put pieces of candy in the container one or two at a time and gently move them around until they're coated with sugar.

volquete (author)daenris2008-11-15

okay, hanks for all the help! :D

volquete (author)2008-11-14

about how much does this cost and about how much does it make? M budget is $20.

daenris (author)volquete2008-11-14

The fruit prices will depend on where you are, what season it is, etc. My strawberries were about $3 for enough to make this. The jar of mango (they didn't have fresh at the time) was $3-4. A few cups of sugar is a very small cost as a 5 pound bag usually runs under $2. Similarly for a TBSP of butter, as this is a very small portion of a container. I believe a box containing 6 oz of pectin cost me about $3.50. So the entire thing can be done for under $10 while having a bunch of sugar and butter left over. It makes an amount as shown in the instructable, filling a 6x8 pan about 3/4 inch deep, or a little less if you use an 8x8 pan.

volquete (author)2008-11-13

cool! to puree a strawberry or mango do i just pop it into my blender and press 'puree'?

daenris (author)volquete2008-11-13

Pretty much, yeah. A food processor might work a bit better if you have one, but a blender should do as well.

volquete (author)daenris2008-11-14

ok i do have one, thanks! _

drinkmorecoffee (author)2008-09-19

I just made some with blueberries. Great recipe!

daenris (author)drinkmorecoffee2008-09-19

Nice. How well did it work out with them? I know different fruits have different levels of natural sugars and pectin, so I'm interested to see how well this works with other fruits.

sameotoko (author)daenris2008-09-19

try quince! just increase the sugar coz the tend to be acidit. They're really high in pectin so they'll firm up in no-time You could also try apples, just boil the mashed fruit with the apple cores (remove the seeds, the release cyanide). They don't quite taste like apples, but they're good

daenris (author)sameotoko2008-09-20

Yeah, I haven't tried them yet, but I link to several recipes including one for an apple/quince version in step 1. I'm not sure that this specific recipe would work for them, as all the recipes I've seen for apple ones involve bringing the mixture to a rapid boil and cooking for a fairly short time at high heat. After drinkmorecoffee's suggestion of chocolate, I'm planning on making a raspberry version and trying to coat them in dark chocolate. Should be similar to the chocolate-covered jellies you get in some chocolate assortments.

drinkmorecoffee (author)daenris2008-09-19

It worked great, they set nicely too. I think I'm going to try coating pieces with chocolate and see how that turns out.

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