Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Well, I finally achieved my long time goal of making a jellied fruit candy from nothing more than fruit and sugar. Prune plums have enough pectin that when cooked well past the point of being good for anything, they begin to solidify. I took half the batch and dried it out in the oven as fruit leather. The rest, I poured into a parchment-lined tray and chilled, uncovered for a day. I then cut out rounds. sugared them and let them sit another day uncovered in the fridge. Success. You do need to cook the plums until soft, then run them through a food mill. At that point, measure your fruit. Use an equal amount of sugar by volume. Then, cook the hell out of it. You could get fancy and add a splash of wine, or lemon juice but I prefer the intense flavour of the prune plums.
It always bothered me that recipes for fruit pate called for gelatine, or cornstarch. Well, bothered in the sense that I could remember candy as a child that had neither, but was a locally made thing that no longer exists. I have no idea if the omission will lessen the shelf life of the candy, but I don't think they are bound to last very long based on the initial reactions around here. We'll see.