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something cheery

Recipe: blueberry pear pâte de fruits

Today was a crazy day, but I don’t want to go into detail now other than to say that (thankfully) everyone in our house is alright. So I’m going to delve into the recipe because it’s something utterly wonderful to look forward to and it will take my mind off of the clusterfuck that was today.

Ever since I successfully tried my hand at making cranberry pâte de fruits, I’ve run up a big list of fruits to transform into these sweet, chewy, tart, colorful jewels. Right before the holidays, I unearthed a bag of frozen blueberries from my freezer and wondered if they could be made into fruit jellies. After some searching, I settled on this lovely recipe that combines pears, blueberries, and lavender. Except I omitted the lavender because you’re not always sure everyone wants to eat something so perfumed, and these were going out as gifts.

liquid pectin, water, anjou pears, lemon, blueberries, sugar

peeling the pears

adding pear quarters to the sugar and blueberries

pour in some water

The recipe is pretty straightforward – cook the fruit, purée the fruit, simmer it down, cool, cut, and sugar. Oh, but your kitchen will be filled with the smell of blueberries bubbling away on the stove. The pears turn a delightful shade of deep pinkish purple too. There is no straining involved, so it moves along quickly until the final simmer.

cooking the fruit until the pears are tender

purée in a blender

pour the purée back into a pan

I simmered my purée down in a larger pot because the increased surface area translates into less stove time (not a lot less, but at my altitude I’ll take it). The nominal simmer time is about an hour to let the liquid boil off and bring the purée to a thick consistency – thick enough that it leaves a temporary part in the bottom when you run your spoon down the center of the pan.

add lemon juice

stir in more sugar

and finally pour the pectin into the pot

This batch was ready. If you are ever in doubt, you can always take a little spoonful of it and pour it on a white plate. If it gels, it’s ready to go into the baking pan. If it doesn’t gel, it needs more time on the stove. Once the purée is in the pan, let it cool for an hour. If it has set, you can turn it out and start cutting it up. If it hasn’t, cover it with plastic and pop it into the refrigerator to cool for a few hours or up to two weeks. I have to admit that I prefer to cut my pâte de fruits with cute-shaped little cutters, but there are a lot of wasted scraps involved and I wasn’t interested in eating them (too many holiday sweets). So I went with cubes which are nice enough considering they deliver a burst of bright fruity flavors.

cooling in the pan

cutting into cubes


I liked that they weren’t overly sweet and how the pear was a nice subtle complement to the fruity blueberries. I thought they were good. Then I packed them all up and sent them on their merry way to various recipients and promptly forgot about them. It wasn’t until emails, phone calls, and direct feedback trickled in that I discovered people absolutely loved the pâte de fruits. So surprise someone with a bite of fruity goodness – or better yet, surprise your own mouth!

a stack of pretty pâte de fruits

sink your teeth into something sweet

Blueberry Pear Pâte de Fruits
[print recipe]
based on this recipe

2 lbs. anjou pears
1 lb. blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
6 oz. liquid pectin (2 3-oz. pkgs)
3 tbsps fresh lemon juice
extra sugar for coating

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper (I layered with two sheets that overlapped at the base). Wash, peel, halve, core, and slice the pears into quarters. Stir the pears, blueberries, 2 cups of sugar, and water together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until the pears are tender. Cool the fruit a little and then purée the mixture until smooth. Return the purée to a large saucepan and add the pectin, lemon juice, and 1 cup of sugar over medium heat. When the purée begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and stir often until the mixture becomes thick (about an hour). Pour the purée into the baking pan, smoothing the top surface as best you can, and let it cool for an hour. You can cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks. When ready, turn the pâte de fruit out on a cutting board and cut with a knife or with cutters. If your fruit jellies are on the wet side, you can let them dry on a cooling rack for a day, otherwise roll the pieces in sugar. Makes 64 1-inch squares.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

cranberry pate de fruits chocolate-covered candied grapefruit candied orange peels passion fruit mochi

26 nibbles at “something cheery”

  1. Rachel S says:

    Gorgeous! I love how smooth the underbelly of the pan is and how cleanly and precisely cut they are! A new use for frozen blueberries is always welcome.

  2. Ruth says:

    Lovely as always!!! I’m in Malaysia, celebrating Chinese New Years soon, will you be posting anything sweet for the holidays sometime soon? Always loving your blog!!!

  3. Shut Up & Cook says:

    I so look forward to your posts…they are always just beautiful!

    I’m in Paris for two months on a personal adventure of sorts and have been seeing these pâte de fruits everywhere…fun to know how they’re made!

  4. Kristin says:

    I’m glad you found something to take your mind off things! Here’s hoping for calmer times.

  5. Trisha G. says:

    Hi Jen,

    So sorry you had a difficult day. Sending some peaceful thoughts your way and hoping that things improve quickly. Thank you for taking the time to think of us, even when your life is in turmoil. We so enjoy your blog!

  6. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This is such a neat recipe!

  7. Pey-Lih says:

    Oh, I LOVE fruit candies! I will definitely give this a try….just need to buy some pectin. Thank you for sharing.

  8. mayra says:

    Elegantly simple, and looks delicious!
    Would you perhaps know the equivalent measurement for powdered pectin?

  9. Anna says:

    Just an FYI: if we were friends and you happened to cut these into cute shapes and ended up with scraps, I would help you out–as a friend–and accept the scraps as my gift. You know, because friends help friends.

  10. Jen says:

    This has been on my list of something I’d like to make ever since I had them for the first time at a VERY EXPENSIVE restaurant in NYC. This goes into the Will Try folder, thanks!

  11. Eileen says:

    These are so interesting! I think I’m going to have to put them on the list of things for next holiday season, actually–just imagine how these would go over at a cookie & candy exchange. Yay!

  12. Brianne says:

    I am fascinated with pate de fruits but have never made them. Why not, when it’s this simple? I have a freezer full of Maine wild blueberries begging for a use. These are an excellent application. I like the addition of pears for a wintry touch, too.

  13. Derik says:

    This is so interesting. I have never made anything like this but after reading this I think I will have to. Looks incredible.

  14. Beth Somers says:

    I love pate de fruits! Grown up gummies in natural flavors. Best homemade candies (outside of the caramel realm) of all time. I like your pear blueberry combo, too!

  15. schlachtplatte says:

    Sorry you had an aweful day. You actually made mine by teaching me the word clusterfuck! I even googled it. I hope I won’t have to use it too many times in 2014, but man, it will sure come in handy when I have an awful day… I even find it onomatopoetic!

  16. Lyn says:

    I got some Harry and David pears that were in bad shape and I was wondering what I’d do with them. Thanks.

  17. Mrs Ergül says:

    Was considering making these for my little nephews and niece until I saw the 3 cups of sugar. I wonder if it will still work if I halve the sugar?

  18. Janet says:

    David Leibowitz just shared a link to this post on Facebook, Jen. That’s pretty awesome. High praise.

  19. farmerpam says:

    I’ve been wanting to try these for some time. Thanks for the reminder. Hoping all is well.

  20. April was in CT now CA says:

    Oh goodness, I’m so excited to try these! So straightforward I think even *I* can handle it. lol Sorry you had a shittastic day, but glad to hear everyone is well.

  21. jill says:

    These were my absolute favorite, no that’s not honest. I loved these as much as the pretzels, cookies, and other delights in our package. But I did allow TPH only one of these, and I hoarded the rest. Such a delightful bite that I savored into 4 bites. Have you tried cherry? I have a source for organic Colorado frozen tart pie cherries! thank you for the recipe. hugs….and hope your household is back in order!

  22. Kate in New York says:

    I love pate de fruits!! I never even thought about making them but now I’ll have to try.

  23. Rachel W says:

    These look so tasty :) Is there a big difference between using the pectin you use here and gelatin? My local grocery store doesn’t carry pectin =|

  24. Alana says:

    Has anyone else had a bad turn out, mine sat n the fridge ovrnight and didn’t set. I’m reheating it till it thickens more. Hope this works.

  25. Dellinda says:

    I’ve made them, and they were very sticky. I’ve cut into squares and left out to dry, but I’m having to transport them tomorrow for an event and have submerged them in sugar to dry more and to keep them from sticking together. We’ll set them out hopefully to dry out even more when we arrive. They have taken lots of time and weren’t cheap to make, and they seem very sweet. I’m hoping they’ll come together, but I won’t be making them again as squares. It would make a nice jam and may still if they don’t firm up enough to handle.

  26. jenyu says:

    Ruth – yes! I posted a few recipes and a round up for the Lunar New Year :)

    mayra – I haven’t ever used powdered pectin before, so I don’t know what the equivalent would be. I did see a bunch of recipes that call for powdered pectin, so you could either try something along those lines or look on Google to see if there is a direct conversion?

    Anna – you are clearly a very selfless and kind and helpful human being :) xo

    schlachtplatte – it’s one of my favorite words!

    Mrs Ergül – I’m not sure if the amount of sugar makes a difference in the gelling process? If you try it with half, do let me know.

    jill – I’ve only tried cranberry and these so far, but I have a long list of other fruit flavors to try!

    Rachel W – Hrmmmm, I don’t think gelatin is a substitute for pectin. You could try to order pectin online?

    Alana – It probably didn’t cook long enough. I didn’t give a temperature here because the original recipe didn’t give a temperature, but my target temp for the cranberry pate de fruits was 235°F.

    Dellinda – You probably didn’t cook them long enough if they were too sticky. As I mentioned to Alana, the original recipe didn’t give a target temperature and I didn’t need one, but for the cranberry pate de fruits, I cooked them to 235°F. So that might be a good guideline. I thought it was pretty obvious from the recipe that 1) it’s time intensive and 2) they are sweet. I mean – 3 cups of sugar, right?

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