Fruit Pastes, Cheeses, Butters

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

fruit pastes, cheeses, butters fruit sweetmeats made by puréeing fruit to give a homogeneous mass; sieving (if necessary); and mixing with an equal weight of sugar before drying over heat. The result is rather solid and has good keeping qualities. The basic principle of applying heat to fruit and adding sugar as a preservative is used to produce a wide range of related sweetmeats, including jam, jelly, and marmalade; bottled and canned fruits; and candied fruits.

A variation is to dry the paste in thin layers to give a sheet of fruit ‘paper’ or ‘leather’. Sugar is not always used in these, as they are usually based on very sweet fruits such as apricots. They are made mostly in countries which have reliably hot and sunny summers (see also ice cream; lebanon and syria; ramadan). The Middle Eastern armadine or armadeu is an example. Another variation on fruit paste is to use dried fruits such as apricots, dates, or prunes, finely chopped and mixed with sugar, to give a very simple uncooked sweetmeat. carrots occasionally provide the raw materials for sweet pastes.