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Cranberry-Pear Pâté de Fruit

Cranberry-Pear Pâté de Fruit

Cranberry-Pear Pâté de Fruit

Cranberry-pear pâté de fruit.

In lieu of pie, present sparkling, sugar-coated squares of pâté de fruit at your Thanksgiving gathering. The traditional French confection is a flavor-packed dessert akin to fruit jellies. Here, they feature a dual layer of tart cranberry and sweet pear for a complex and complete flavor that will leave everyone at the table reaching for more. Vegan and gluten-free, they’re also an excellent gift of gratitude to send home with guests.

In this recipe, yellow pectin cannot be interchanged with any other pectin. Yellow pectin is available online and in some specialty grocery stores. Make your own pear purée by peeling, coring and processing fresh ripe pears in a food processor until smooth.

Cranberry-Pear Pâté de Fruit

Yields | 48 1-inch squares |

Pear Pâté de Fruit

  • 1 cup, plus 5 tsp, sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp yellow pectin
  • 7 oz pear purée
  • 2 Tbsp glucose or light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp citric acid

Cranberry Pâté de Fruit

  • 1½ cups, plus 2 Tbsp, sugar, divided
  • 3 tsp yellow pectin
  • 8 oz pure cranberry juice
  • 2 Tbsp glucose or light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp citric acid

| Preparation – Pear Pâté de Fruit | Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper on both the bottom and the sides.

In a small bowl, combine 5 teaspoons sugar and yellow pectin (this will help to minimize clumping when added to the liquid). Set aside.

Place pear purée in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a candy thermometer attached to the inside. Slowly add the sugar-pectin mixture in a steady stream, whisking to combine. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in glucose or light corn syrup; continue whisking until mixture returns to a boil. Whisk in ½ cup sugar; continue whisking until mixture returns to a boil. Whisk in remaining sugar; continue whisking until mixture returns to a boil. Whisking constantly to prevent scorching, continue to cook mixture until it reaches 216°F on the candy thermometer, approximately 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately whisk in citric acid. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Working quickly, tilt pan to evenly distribute the mixture into all corners, creating an even layer. Set on a wire rack to cool, at least 10 minutes or until set to the touch, before adding the second layer.

| Preparation – Cranberry Pâté de Fruit | In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and yellow pectin. Set aside.

Place cranberry juice in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a candy thermometer attached to the inside. Slowly add the sugar-pectin mixture in a steady stream, whisking to combine. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in glucose or light corn syrup; continue whisking until mixture returns to a boil. Whisk in ¾ cup sugar; continue whisking until mixture returns to a boil. Whisk in remaining sugar; continue whisking until mixture returns to a boil. Whisking constantly to prevent scorching, continue to cook mixture until it reaches 223°F on the candy thermometer, approximately 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately whisk in citric acid. Pour mixture on top of set pear pâté de fruit layer. Allow to cool completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.

| Assembly | Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a large bowl with 1 cup sugar. Set aside.

Using the parchment paper as handles, gently pull pâté de fruit out of baking pan and set on a cutting board. Generously sprinkle with sugar and rub it across the entire surface. Carefully flip pâté de fruit and peel off parchment paper. Again, generously sprinkle with sugar and rub it across the entire surface. (Coating both sides of the pâté de fruit with sugar will make it easier to handle while cutting.) Flip pâté de fruit again so that the cranberry layer is on top. Using a large chef’s knife, cut into 1-inch squares, rinsing the blade under very hot water and drying it between cuts. Drop a few squares into the sugar bowl and roll them around to completely coat sides. Place coated squares on prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced, not touching. Repeat process until all the squares are coated. Serve and enjoy.

Any remaining pâté de fruit should be left out, uncovered, at room temperature for 24 hours. This will help to create a very thin crust around the candies to prevent “weeping.” The next day, store pâté de fruit in a single layer in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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Teresa Floyd is a Kansas City-based food writer, editor for the online food publication feedfeed and contributing monthly columnist for Feast Magazine’s Sugar Rush. Find her current creations on Now, Forager, a pastry blog featuring seasonal desserts.

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