In early December, we were back at it again. This year was particularly exciting because we were going to make something we’ve been talking about making since our first annual Christmas baking: Pate de Fruits.
So we started the day by thawing our organic frozen fruit.
For the colour pallet and flavour combination, we decided to make a raspberry batch and a peach batch. To help the peaches thaw quickly we decided to blend them a little and then let them sit at room temperature.
While the fruit was thawing we turned our attention to the next recipe on our list: caramels. Last year we made chocolate covered sea salt caramels and we both agreed that the caramel was one of the best we’d ever tasted. So this year we decided to just make the caramels and enjoy them on their own. We started by boiling the sugar and corn syrup.
Once we reached the right temperature we added butter and cream.
And here is a good moment to pause for a learning opportunity, one that we learned a little too late. The butter and cream wasn’t exactly at room temperature when we added it to the boiling sugar, so at first, it didn’t mix together very well. After stirring for a while it did blend together and we were able to pour it into the cups.
But what we learned later that evening, when we conducted our quality control, was that the sugar had crystallized creating a texture similar to salt throughout the caramels. However, the flavour was still very good so we decided to keep the recipe for another try (by which I mean redemption).
Once we were done making the caramels, our fruit was thawed and ready for action. We blended the raspberries and ran them through a sieve to separate the juice from the seeds.
The smell was incredible. Once we had the juice ready we measured all of our ingredients and luckily, Sylvie has a kitchen scale. We couldn’t have made this recipe without it.
We mixed a bit of sugar in with the gelatine then sprinkled it over the fruit, then added the rest of the sugar and placed it on the stove top to bring it to a low boil.
Once the raspberries started cooking it took on a gorgeous deep red/purple tone. When we reached the right temperature we began pouring the mixture into our moulds. Unlike the candy we usually make, the fruit mixture got very thick very fast so it was messy trying to get it to pour into the moulds.
We managed one tray then decided to abort and instead went with our prepared backup of plastic wrap in a cookie sheet where we could make a flat log.
It was very hot and thank god Sylvie has hands of steel because I could not have handled that hot blob of raspberry lava.
Once the raspberry was done we moved on to the peach. We repeated the process exactly.
The peach colour darkened a little, but not too much. I guess we were feeling more ambitious this time around because we filled more trays with the peach and only had a small amount to form into a log.
Once we set these aside we realized that we had enough pureed fruit left that we could mix the raspberry and peach together to make a third batch. We were very excited as this would give us the colour rainbow we were looking for.
So we mixed about one third raspberry with two thirds peach and skipped the moulds altogether and went straight to the plastic wrap in the pan technique.
This technique was certainly more challenging than the lady in the YouTube video led on to be, but in the end we got it to work and the flavour was absolutely out-standing.
I must have said “this is the most delicious thing we have ever made” about a hundred time that day and I still stand by that assessment. This is definitely a recipe we will continue to perfect. Just look how amazing it turned out.
Oh and because we felt like we hadn’t made quite enough candy for one day, we decided to make our old stand by, sucre d’orge.
It’s funny how whipping up this recipe now feels like no big deal, we hardly even need the recipe! (well that’s not exactly true, we definitely follow the recipe and I still pace a circle in the kitchen waiting for the thermometer to hit 300 degrees).
And last but not least, we started our annual felt ornaments.
Once again, this year was an absolute success and I can’t wait to see what we cook up next year.