Here is yet another recipe variation for my new favorite candy. Although I really loved the Candied Peach Gelée I had made earlier, there are so many ways to make them that I thought I should try out a few variations and see which I preferred. Called pate de fruit in France, here in Umbria I usually find them called fruit gelée in many of the upscale pastry shops (pasticceria) in Perugia. Made of pure fruit puree, these candies burst with flavor and are a perfect accompaniment to a cookie platter or alongside a dessert tray when entertaining. These fruits also make great hostess gifts over the holidays. Although the professional fruit gelée are generally formed into fruit shapes, at home they are usually cut into small squares which are then rolled in sugar.
There are many ways to make these special treats, but basically fruit puree is sweetened and cooked down into a paste which is then poured into either molds or a pan to cool. Some recipes use gelatin to help the gelling process, while others use a fruit pectin usually reserved for jam and jelly making. There are also recipes that simply cook the fruit puree with sugar and a little lemon juice until it thickens into a thick paste without the aid of any pectin or gelatin product. This recipe uses gelatin sheets instead of the fruit pectin, and I used 8 sheets for 3 pounds of plums in order to get the right firmness and texture. You want your gelée to be soft, certainly not hard and chewy like wine gums, but you want them firm enough that they hold together well. I used a hand immersion blender ( or wand blender) to break down and remaining pieces of skin but you could also push your fruit mixture through a medium small mesh sieve if you prefer. The gelée should bounce back when squeezed gently with your fingers, but still be soft to the bite. I haven’t tried it myself, but I have read that 4 sheets leaf gelatin = 1 (.25 oz) envelope granulated gelatin, or 1 tablespoon granulated gelatin.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 3 Pounds Rips Plums
- 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- Juice Of 1 Lemon
- 8 Gelatin Leaves
- Additional Sugar For Rolling
- Line a 7 X 11 inch cake pan with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Wash and dry the plums, cut into half, remove the pit and coarsely chop.
- Place the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water to soften.
- Cook the plums with the sugar and lemon over medium high heat, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes or until the plums have broken down and thickened. mixture should be above 200 degrees.
- Use an immersion blender to blend in any remaining pieces of skin, and continue to cook until thick and jam-like, about 10 more minutes.
- Discard the water the gelatin was in, and add the softened gelatin sheets to the fruit and stir well to blend smoothly.
- Pour the thickened mixture immediately into your pan and allow to cool for a few hours in the refrigerator.
- Once the candy has cooled, use a sharp knife to cut it into 1 to 1 1/2 inch squares.
- Roll each square in sugar, and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.