After many trials (and errors), more than a year after the manuscript for Farmers’ Market Dessert was tucked into bed, even after the book has been printed, I have, at long last, successfully transformed the purée of gorgeous Blenheim apricots I made and froze last summer into pâte de fruit.
After cooking down the apricots with a bit of water and sugar and then puréeing (or in this case defrosting the purée), they are weighed and an equal weight of sugar is added.
Apple pectin (health food store style, powdered, not in capsules) is mixed with some of the sugar and slowly added until it fades away into the mixture.
This is slow food. You don’t want to scorch the ‘cots, turn them dark–they will darken a bit in any case, and you certainly don’t want to damage their delicate flavor. Be patient.
After about an hour, the mixture looks like a kind of primordial soup–thick and caramel colored, with large bubbles erupting.
When it hits the magic 225 degrees F, pour into a pan lined with lightly oiled parchment.
Let set. (It only took a few hours, but I may have been overly enthusiastic with the pectin and cooking time.) Pull the parchment from the pan and cut into pieces.
Coat in sugar, shaking off excess.