This year Sylvie and I were excited to be able to bake together in person again, and in their beautiful new kitchen nonetheless. Kirby and I arrived mid-morning and Sylvie and I started by getting ourselves organized. We decided to start with a recipe from Ricardo that Sylvie found in a magazine for pâte de fruits à l’érable. We made two types, one with raspberries and one without.
We boiled the fruit with maple syrup and pectin until it reached 225°f.
It took a while for the mixture to get to the right temperature (truth be told, I think the fruit reached 215° and stayed there for so long that we decided to remove it from the heat out of fear it would burn). So we poured the mixture into the prepared pan as per the recipe.
But we quickly realized it was going to make a very thin layer so we quickly grabbed the moulds we had set aside just in case and transferred the fruit mixture into the moulds.
Then we got started on the next batch. The first batch used half raspberry and half apple puree and the second batch was just apple, in the hopes that the maple flavour would come through more strongly. We cooked the puree in the same manner and this time skipped dirtying an extra pan and went straight to the moulds.
Once the moulds were filled we set them aside at room temperature to set and we moved on to making the salted brown sugar & honey fudge.
We had an easier time getting this mixture to 240°f for some reason. Although we did decide to use a larger pot for this recipe, so maybe that had something to do with it.
We removed it from the stove and added the butter then left the pot in the other room to cool to 120°f as per the recipe. But we waited and waited and the mixture just wouldn’t cool. After doing some googling we decided to cool the fudge by whisking it in a cold water bath.
This worked incredibly well and we were able to transfer the fudge into two pans shortly after and sprinkled it with sea salt.
At this point, all of the cooking was done and we were just waiting for everything to set so we moved on to the felting project we had planned for the day. Sylvie and I had purchased two needle-felting kits to make birds.
At this point Kirby and Bill got back from bowling and a movie, just in time for us to open our kits (which claim to be “easy peasy” and for kids 10 years and older) to witness my immediate confusion.
Luckily Kirby jumped to my rescue and started translating the instructions for me.
But before we could get too far into the project we had to pause for dinner, and afterward, we were more in the mood to play games so we’ve saved our kits for another day.
We had a fun evening of board games and cards and the next day we finished off the fudge and pâte de fruits.
We finished the pâte de fruits by sprinkling them with maple sugar.
I am very pleased with both recipes. The pâte de fruits had a beautiful maple flavour and the fudge just melted in your mouth. Once again, another successful year of baking.