Fruit Jellies

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

The most yielding of the firmer fruit paste family, these jellies are nonetheless a quite different preparation from a light, fresh, gelatin-set dessert jelly. See gelatin desserts. Intensely fruity, jellied fruits or fruit jellies are soft yet firm sugar-covered sweets that keep for several months. In France, they are called pâtes de fruit; in Spain, dulce de fruta, often translated into English as Sephardi fruit paste. Pectin is a crucial element in the set of these jellies, so although they may be made in a multitude of fruit flavors (and therefore colors), they often contain apple purée as a thickener and to ensure the right texture and firmness. Two parts of puréed fruit or apple purée–thickened juice is cooked to 240°F (115°C) with one part sugar. Pectin is incorporated at a rate of up to three-quarters of a part, the mixture is returned to the boil, and lemon juice added to taste. The mixture is poured into prepared trays, sprinkled with granulated sugar, and left to set for a minimum of two hours before being turned to coat the other side with sugar. Once completely cooled, the jelly is cut into pieces—usually squares—and each one fully coated in granulated sugar. Fruit jellies keep for several months, at least. An alternative version may be set with agar instead of pectin. However, as a result of the protein content in agar, these jellies do not keep as long: weeks rather than months.