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Strawberry and Rhubarb Pate De Fruit

Strawberry Rhubarb Pate De Fruit

As I woke up this morning, I quickly put on my shoes and ran downstairs to get the boat ready for a little outing. We were indeed rushing, grabing pieces of buttered toast and ushering the dogs up and down the stairs. You see it’s rain season here, so every opportunity to be out and about in a dry and sunny moment is fully taken advantage of. We got all the way to the boat landing and all of a sudden the clouds darkened and the skies broke lose. B. looked at me, hands open to the sky, raising his shoulders as if to say "sorry sweets, not today".

No big deal, being flexible is the name of the game in June around here but there is plenty for me to do to actually tie myself to a chair instead of going around playing on the water (more on that at the end of this post). When things don’t go as planned, there are ways to make the situation a little sweeter. Tons sweeter. Little confections like pate de fruits are especially good to turn grey skies into sunshine, if only in your head. More so if the they take advantage of the seasonal bounty around you as in these Strawberry and Rhubarb Pate De Fruits (fruit paste candy).

The town of Provence I am from, Apt, is known as the capital of fruits confits (candied fruits) and subsequently as a great pate de fruit producer. We take that craft very seriously and we just don’t go to a patisserie to buy them. Non, non, non…we go to a confiserie. I feel like I have turned my kitchen into one these days stirring as many pate de fruit batches as I have. Friends and family have been dropping off pounds after pounds of ripe local strawberries, rhubarb, peaches, apricots that have ended up in pate de fruits at some point or another during the week.

Pate De Fruit

I usually make pate de fruit the way confiseurs have been making it for generations, cooking and stirring only 3 ingredients together: fruit, sugar and lemon juice. If you think about these items cooked down to make a paste, you can suspect it usually takes quite some time. During the winter or early spring, that’s not a big problem but given that we are in and out getting things done according to the rain and tide schedules these days, it’s safe to assume, I took a bit of a time shortcut for a couple of batches by using pectin. Inexpensive and easy to find liquid pectin to be exact.

There are as many recipes for pate de fruit as there are people making them. Some call for apple pectin, yellow pectin or simply nothing. Let’s face it, if you know you are not going to be making pate de fruit often, it’s easier and more economical to get good old liquid pectin than the others for the same result (if you are not going to go the 100% natural route that is). The trick is to learn how to cook the pectin differently, by bringing your fruit mixture to the right temperature in stages. I also have to say my pocket book is screaming "I love you" to the liquid one.

I had planned on showing Jen how to make pate de fruit during my visit to her place in Colorado without knowing that she had always wanted to try her hand at them. Well, Colorado did not happen because the organization hiring B. royally messed up on all fronts possible. Another thing not going as planned. Another reason to practice flexibility. I still went ahead and made pate de fruit, assuring Jen I’d post about them this week.

Obviously I am running a bit behind, busy wrapping up book edits. I have this vision of her tapping her foot on the floor, hands on her hips, telling me "it’s about time girlfriend!" But again, I know Jen is busy running the trails and enjoying the outdoors and I have to say I can’t blame her considering where she lives.

Oops! Sun’s out again…I am out of here! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pate de Fruit

One year ago: Strawberry Lemon Thyme Shortcakes.
Two years ago: Pink Fraise Tagada Macarons.

Strawberry And Rhubarb Pate de Fruit:

Notes: I use store brand liquid pectin so I can’t vouch for how others might behave. I use a large stainless steel pot so the evaporation and cooking could happen faster (much like with making mava). I recommend not straining the fruit in a fine mesh colander otherwise you are at it for a week. I use one with medium sized holes just to make sure I get rid of any pieces of fruit that has not been pureed properly.
For a superb pectin free recipe, follow this recipe posted by the awesome Anita from Married with Dinner.

6.5 oz (190gr) strawberries, cleaned and hulled
6.5 oz (190gr) rhubarb, cleaned
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups (400gr) sugar, divided
2.5 tablespoons liquid pectin

Line a 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Roughly chop the strawberries and rhubard and puree them really well in a food processor. Strain the fruits over a heavy saucepan and add the lemon juice. Stir in 1/2 cup (100gr) saugar and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and cook until its temperature register 113F, stirring constantly. Add the remaining 1.5 cups (300gr) sugar and the pectin to the pot and slowly bring the mixture to 200F, still over medium high heat while stirring constantly. Turn the heat down a bit and keep the mixture at 200F for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat back up and slowly bring the mixture to 223F. Keep it there for an additional 2-3 minutes (turn the heat down if necessary to do so). Remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture into your pan lined with parchment paper. Let set for a couple of hours. Cut shapes with a sharp knife and roll the pieces of pate de fruit in sugar. Refrigerate if not eating all of them at once.

On another note, after many requests by some of you to know if I sold my pictures as prints, I finally took the time to set up a shop on etsy called Delicious Images where I have uploaded some of my favorites from this blog as well as many still life pictures and some never seen on this site yet. Thank you for asking about that and thank you for your support and readership. You guys are the best!

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Rachael Hutchings June 7, 2009 um 7:14 pm

Oooooh, I haven't had pate de fruit in forever! Actually, it was maybe the last time I was in Provence…2000? WAY TOO LONG! I'm going to have to make some–thanks!

Unknown June 7, 2009 um 7:17 pm

These and rice puddings require just so much stirring but are so very worth it. Amazing pictures and a great way to take classic flavors and do something so old school and yet new. =)

Engineer Baker June 7, 2009 um 7:32 pm

The one time I've tried to make these, they didn't set up quite right. I'm thinking it's time to try again. Sorry things went all haywire and you couldn't go to CO, but hopefully the fates will make it up to you so you can come to BlogHer in Sep 🙂

Deb Mele June 7, 2009 um 7:34 pm

I have always wanted to make this type of candy but just never seemed to get around to it. Your gorgeous photos have convinced me that this summer I will be trying it out with a number of different fruits. I am not sure if I can find pectin in Italy though so I may have to do it the old fashioned way without.

maybelle's mom June 7, 2009 um 7:34 pm

I adore pate de fruits. With 1.5 little ones, I don't see myself making them anytime soon. At least, I have your pictures.

Simply Mel {Reverie} June 7, 2009 um 7:38 pm

Pate de fruits are one of my favorite indulgences! And then you go and make my ultimate favorite combo of rhubarb and strawberry – I'm over the edge with longing now! Gorgeous photos, and delightful post. My mouth is watering…

Anonymous June 7, 2009 um 7:44 pm

Can't wait to harvest my rhubarb and give this a try.
If I do not have pectin, how should I proceed?

Fee ist mein Name June 7, 2009 um 7:48 pm

Yummy… I never saw them in Germany. So I think I'm going to try them…

Snooky doodle June 7, 2009 um 7:52 pm

these look nice and the photos awesome. I don t blame you on enjoying the nice weather outside. Have a good time 🙂

Gis June 7, 2009 um 8:06 pm

ooooh yeaaaah 😀 😀 😀 prints!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums June 7, 2009 um 9:12 pm

Fantastic! They look stunning and must taste so good!



Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf June 7, 2009 um 9:17 pm

Oh my, these photos are just gorgeous, really, wow ! I am a huge fan of pate de fruits – and have tried my hand at them a few times. Never did come out as perfectly as those I've tasted at Hediard or other fine confiseries in France. Speaking of which, my parents visited Apt a few years ago and brought me back a nice collection of fruits confits – miam miam, I can still taste them! How lucky that you are from there! Hope to get there one day myself !

Ok, can't wait to get to the market Tuesday morning and stock up on fresh strawberries and rhubarb. So excited to try the recipe, merci beaucoup !!

Cindy June 7, 2009 um 9:23 pm

they look so delicious and i love your photos, as always! xo. c

Callie Grayson June 7, 2009 um 10:08 pm

mmm my favorite, then to top it off Rhubarb and strawberry! yummy. I have been eating rhubarb and strawberries all week.
beautiful photos!

Neuroknitter June 7, 2009 um 10:18 pm


bridget {bake at 350} June 7, 2009 um 10:22 pm

I love that first photo! I wish I could reach out and grab one of those!!! I've never made anything like this before, but it looks fun…thanks for the recipe!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul June 7, 2009 um 10:49 pm

A wonderful, informative post Helen…thank you for explaining the mystery behind pectin and its use in this recipe. The strawberry and rhubarb combination sounds delicious.

Ciao Chow Linda June 7, 2009 um 11:24 pm

Oh these look so delightful. Looks like it came from a fancy confectioner's shop.

toontz June 7, 2009 um 11:48 pm

So glad you opened your Etsy shop! Off to peruse…

♥peachkins♥ June 8, 2009 um 12:15 am

I don't think we have rhubarb here..sob

Deeba PAB June 8, 2009 um 12:49 am

These look delicious & remind me of Turkish delights that we had when we were kids. Am glad the kids are asleep or this is what I would have been at today! Beautiful pictures Helen, & lovely post. It's wonderful to see you make the best of everyday…sun or rain! Not a moment to waste…YAY!

Pea and Pear June 8, 2009 um 12:54 am

I think I could quite happily trade lives with you after reading that post. Everything sounds so picture perfect, even when things haven't gone to plan.

Oh to live somewhere that I could just jump into my boat, where my town was known for creating something so delicious as pate de fruit.

😉 Ali

Poorni Pillai June 8, 2009 um 1:02 am

Oh, I've always loved these! They look gorgeous 🙂

paula June 8, 2009 um 1:12 am

how beautiful. I would love to have one now.

Brilynn June 8, 2009 um 3:14 am

Looks like it turned out wonderfully! I still haven't attempted it although I have tomorrow off and it looks like it's going to be a rainy day, perfect for making pate de fruit.

Cupcakes In Heels June 8, 2009 um 5:14 am

wow! these looks delicious! i have to admit i've never had pate de fruits. thanks for the recipe, even if i attempt to try it, i wouldn't know if it taste right =P.

your photos on delicious images are gorgeous!!! i especially want to reach those violet macarons and eat them! thanks for sharing!

Simones Kitchen June 8, 2009 um 6:56 am

That looks really delicious Helen. For some reason the pate de fruits that I have eaten sofar are just terrible terrible factory made things. I never thought of those as a way to use leftover fruits, but I am starting to change my mind about that. It still looks slightly complicated though but your photos are deliciously tempting!

anadelicias June 8, 2009 um 7:55 am

wow!!! These looks delicious!! I´m traying to do pâte de fruits because i love them!!

Lis June 8, 2009 um 8:44 am

I have ALWAYS wanted to try these! Your version looks amazing and very tasty!

Am so sorry the trip fell through.. I hope it's just postponed and not cancelled completely. 🙁

Love you!

Salon de Sucre June 8, 2009 um 9:09 am

just found your blog.. absolutley fabulous!!! love it and now im following!

Maybe June 8, 2009 um 9:56 am

J'adore tes petites pâtes de fruit en forme de fleurs ! Très chouette ! Et tu as raison, s'il se met à pleuvoir, tu as bien d'autres manières de passer agréablement le temps… la preuve ! :o)

Unknown June 8, 2009 um 10:14 am

Apt… Provence… I left the heart in those places and the funny thing is that people there could understand my dialect from Bologna… we're both of Gaulois descent.

About the recipe.. what could I say except that "…if not eating all of them at once" is the very dangerous and probable outcome of it.

lubnakarim06 June 8, 2009 um 11:04 am

Oh wow…looks yum…..Awesome pics…..

Barbara June 8, 2009 um 11:12 am

Once again, absolutely fabulous photography! These are something like Turkish delights I think- but purer. And rhubarb! Love it.

Dutch girl loves2bake June 8, 2009 um 11:24 am

I have never tried this, but now I will! Looks so yummy! Love your blog btw! You are a inspiration to me!

Patricia Scarpin June 8, 2009 um 1:11 pm

I'm sorry to hear the trip did not work out, darling. 🙁
I've never had nor made pate de fruit, and strawberries are starting to show around here. Great recipe!

Cannelle Et Vanille June 8, 2009 um 1:21 pm

Pate de fruit, one of my favorites. A little goes a long way. I'm sorry about Colorado being canceled that is a bummer, but hopefully you will get to go some other time. And congrats on Delicious Images. So cool!

Dominique June 8, 2009 um 1:31 pm

C'est vrai que les fruits confits d'Apt sont délicieux! Je n'ai jamais essayé d'en faire… tu m'as donné envie! Merci.

anna June 8, 2009 um 1:49 pm

I've tried making pate de fruits twice before, both with liquid pectin and neither were terribly successful. I probably needed to cook them longer. Every time I see perfect ones like yours I'm tempted to try again.

test it comm June 8, 2009 um 1:53 pm

Those strawberry rhubarb jellies look really good! Great photos!

Helene June 8, 2009 um 2:16 pm

anna: yes, liquid pectin requires a tad bit more cooking once your fruit mixture starts getting into the 200F.
Hope you'll try once more and achieve success!

Ash June 8, 2009 um 2:54 pm

I've been dying to make these for a while! These looks fantastic! Great combo.. who doesn't like strawberry and rhubarb?

Lucy Vaserfirer June 8, 2009 um 3:58 pm

Beautiful, as always. I use powdered pectin in my pate de fruit. But I’ve been wondering, how would you make lemon pate de fruit?

fresh365 June 8, 2009 um 4:32 pm

These look fabulous and I love the color! I will have to try this, and will keep my fingers crossed they are ad delicious as yours…

Anonymous June 8, 2009 um 7:30 pm

Love the blog!

"Chris is Starving!"

Butikpartim June 8, 2009 um 7:43 pm

It looks very delicious..

Sunshinemom June 8, 2009 um 8:01 pm

This reminds me of the guava cheese we get in Goa. It has the same bright colour and from the method I feel the taste should be somewhat the same except for the flavour, of course. I like these things sandwiched between biscuits or slices of bread:).

Cookie baker Lynn June 8, 2009 um 8:05 pm

How lovely! I have some rhubarb sitting in the refrigerator right now begging me to make this.

I'm so glad you're selling prints of your photos. They are totally frame-worthy. These are no exception.

pigpigscorner June 8, 2009 um 8:05 pm

I don't think I can stop eating these if I start!

Unknown June 8, 2009 um 9:59 pm

These look beautiful! I have to try them soon. I've been baking your macaron recipe over and over and finally found some success! It's been a fun adventure:)

pastry studio June 9, 2009 um 2:52 am

I love pate de fruit and making them with strawberry and rhubarb is totally inspired. They're gorgeous.

Even though I've always used apple pectin, I'm really glad you've used liquid pectin. I've been trying to go with ingredients that readers will have an easier time finding and therefore be more willing and able to try things out.

Congrats on the Etsy shop. Great collection!

Ria Mathew June 9, 2009 um 4:38 am

The squares looks yum and squidgy! 🙂

Milliways June 9, 2009 um 7:59 am

Looks wonderful. Your photos are amazing!

Hayley June 9, 2009 um 2:55 pm

I don't think I've ever had pate de fruit, but your photos make me want to change that soon. Thanks for sharing Helen!

Unknown June 9, 2009 um 4:54 pm

omg – i'm totally gonna make these!! i really don't like the kind we have in the states cuz it is so gritty from the sugar, but yours looks sweet and smooth…just as it should be!

and the etsy site is beautiful!!

Ljiljana June 9, 2009 um 5:03 pm

I love pate de fruit. It really looks delicious 🙂

veron June 9, 2009 um 5:23 pm

I've always wanted to try my hand at this. Now I need to get my hands on certo liquid pectin.

Eléonora June 9, 2009 um 5:25 pm

Il me reste de la rhubarbe et je chipe ta belle idée que j'adore…bravo

Manggy June 9, 2009 um 6:01 pm

Beautiful pates, Helen 🙂 Unfortunately pectin isn't commercially available here, but I can find ways to do it naturally if I have some puree lying around, hehe 🙂

Kate @Savour Fare June 9, 2009 um 6:15 pm

I've had pate de fruits in France, but it never occurred to me to make them myself, but these look relatively simple. I'm thinking it might be a great way to use some of the marvelous apricots that I know are coming down the line.

Will you make Calissons D'Aix? I adore them and they're SO expensive to buy.

Helene June 9, 2009 um 7:55 pm

Lis: unfortunately, the AP gradig sessions only take place the first week of June. Next time would have to be next year if he decides it's worth working for such loonies.

Veron: grocery store… easy peasy.

Kate@SavourFare: it's been a while since I have made some but as soon as I can source our rice paper at a good price, I will. The Asian store where I'd get it just closed 🙁

Nicole Watkins June 10, 2009 um 8:41 am

lovely food lovely photography so glad i have discovered your work!

nora@ffr June 10, 2009 um 2:08 pm

wow stunning photography!!! these are cute and i love the amazing color 🙂 m sure this is going to taste delish.. cant wait to try this soon

Mallory Elise June 10, 2009 um 3:42 pm

damn. i wish i had people dropping off pounds and pounds of fruit…lucky.

the last photo is the zeeee best!

Edda June 10, 2009 um 4:10 pm

I like your story behind and your marvellous pâte de fruits. Thanks for the advices and for these beautiful moments full of sugar. I go see your pictures

Pattern Patisserie June 10, 2009 um 10:15 pm

Thank you for this post…I love pate de fruits and a rhubarb and strawberry combination sounds gorgeous…thanks also for the link to the non-pectin recipe.

Heidi Miller June 10, 2009 um 11:31 pm

You have the most beautiful blog that I have ever seen. Each post is more fabulous than the next! Great job! I featured one of your recipes on my blog last week, the Strawberry Mint Soup. It was simple and divine! Thank you!

Jen Yu June 11, 2009 um 1:30 am

How is it that I didn't comment on this yet? I've read it twice and *thought* what I wanted to say. I must be losing my mind! Well, didn't your telepathic powers pick up that I am SOOO excited to use your recipe? I am! Because I *hate* to have to go out and purchase special ingredients as it is a royal pain in the patootie here. You always figure out the best methods. Yay!!! I love these, they look like gorgeous jewels. Mmmm, delicious gorgeous jewels.

Anonymous June 11, 2009 um 4:47 am

Bonjour Helen!

I am quite excited for you about the Etsy store. I love Pate De Fruits! I have a friend who specializes in very
unique Pate De Fruits – Turnip, Beet, Cucumber, Carrot. I believe you are getting it? He is "Out Side The Box" and quite well known for this.

The recipe looks fabulous, I will try today. I again congradulate you on your new venture.

I recently joined the Daring Bakers per your encouraging messages on the blog. I hope I get a "Big Sister" like you, or you!


candide001 June 11, 2009 um 1:04 pm

Do you have recipes you could share for making fruits confits at home? The ones you find in the states are degueus and the imports coutent les yeux de la tete!

Helene June 11, 2009 um 1:10 pm

candide001: I don't have a recipe for fruits confits, probably because I get ample supply from home and never source it out here but I am sure there is a recipe out there on Google, somewhere.

BakedwithLove June 11, 2009 um 8:00 pm

I love rhubarb! Your photographs look great! I hope you don't mind me putting your site to my Blogroll page 🙂

Lori June 12, 2009 um 12:58 am

I love these little confections. I can't get enough of them.

There is a vendor here at our market that seels a variety of them but they have coconut mixed in. They are so delicious.

Dolcienonsolo June 12, 2009 um 4:47 am

Con queste renderei felice mio figlio…grazie!

Margot June 12, 2009 um 9:15 am

me encantan tus recetas,la forma de tus presentacines y las fotos son preciosas.
Tu blog es muy bueno.
Buen fin de semana .

Helene June 12, 2009 um 12:47 pm

Anonymous: I use an instant read digital thermometer.
I do not use store bought fruit puree because they most often contain extra sugar and water that can throw things off. Maybe a little bit more cooking time next time?
Pectin is a booster, a little safety belt if you want, but it is not necessary to make pate de fruit. I provide a link to my friend Anita's recipe that shows you how to make it without.
Hope you have better results next time.

redmenace June 13, 2009 um 6:01 pm

I am a huge fan of pate de fruits. Yours are just lovely!

ice tea: sugar high June 16, 2009 um 4:59 am

I loovve pate de fruit. It's been a while since I last made them, probably it's about time.

Just a simple question, how long does pate de fruit last? And how do you normally keep it? airtight? room temp? fridge? freezer? Hah, it's not one question after all.

Thanks Helen =)

Kim June 17, 2009 um 1:04 am

I have always wanted to give this a try. You make everything look so good. How about I come with the Coca Cola ribs and crab cakes and you do dessert?

Bryan June 22, 2009 um 5:52 pm

this post is so inspiring!
i finally made a rhubarb-raspberry batch experimenting with Pomoma's Pectin– all i had on hand.
i appreciate your details about heating and boiling.
the results were firmish but also tender.
it's very exciting to make these with such good summer fruit now! (if i could only get my hands on some sour cherries…)

my question is about storage– room temp? refrigerate? and how long do the pates keep, in general terms.
do you have any suggestions?
thank you thank you!

Ellemay June 26, 2009 um 4:19 am

Does the sugar to fruit ration change depending on the fruit?

It's winter here so I'm thinking of trying this with apple or quince.

Rose Campagne June 30, 2009 um 5:21 pm

Oooooooooooooooh !!!!!!
Exceptionnel ! Quelles photos !

Unknown July 1, 2009 um 5:16 am

I made them, your directions were great. They are beautiful, and delicious. Thank you!

RadhaS July 7, 2009 um 5:42 pm

DELICIOUS!! We made these the other day and they disappeared faster than they were made.

Jackie July 18, 2009 um 5:05 pm

Your pate de fruit recipe is just what I've been looking for. I actually want to try making them with apricots (they're in season right now where I am) but was wondering if the sugar would need to be adjusted because apricots are sweeter than rhubarb? Or would I be okay with using the same ratio of fruit to sugar as you mentioned, just with all apricots?


Helene July 19, 2009 um 2:16 am

Jackie: you can keep the same ratio of fruit to sugar for apricot.

Bitesforthought September 30, 2009 um 1:13 pm

A couple of weeks ago I was trying to make pink grapefruit and champagne pate de fruit. I sure I tested these ingredients at least 6 different ways, and nothing would turn out as I wanted. I think part of the problem was the champagne, well that and the fact that grapefruit has very little pectin. If you have any suggestions for my grapefruit pate de fruit, I would love to hear them!

by the way, I love your pictures.

Samitestar March 27, 2010 um 7:29 pm

When you say strain the fruit, do you mean strain it so that you all in the pan are the juices? What if some of the thready parts come through? Will this still turn out?

Daria1963 May 17, 2010 um 9:26 pm

Hi, I have a question, these look only amazing, but I want to take the recipe a step further and wonder if you could help. Have you ever seen those chocolate covered jel rings? I love them and think these would be a great start to that recipe homemade. I was thinking of dipping them in melted dark chocolate. My question is, are they a strong enough consistency to handle the chocolate?

Laura Hunter April 3, 2011 um 12:49 pm

This looks fantastic. I am planning a party for my husband's 30th birthday and Rhubarb and Strawberries are some of his favorite. I think I will have to add these to my menu.

reserche2 September 5, 2011 um 10:32 pm

I tried this, but – it didn't set up. There's not enough pectin… All the other recipe call for a LOT more. You might want to have a look at that..

Thanks for the inspiration though!


Helene September 6, 2011 um 1:22 am

Reserche2: not all pectin is created equal. There is a LOT of variation in brands. You might want to have a look at that.
Not all berries are created equal so depending on the season, you will get a higher ratio of flesh to water/moisture. Right now would be the wrong time of year to make it unless you are in a country which is right into Spring or Summer and even then the flesh to moisture issue would come into play.

Antonina September 25, 2011 um 6:12 am

These looks delicious!! lovely pic

Felicia July 22, 2012 um 5:29 pm

They are so beautiful!! anyway can I change the liquid pectin with lemon or anything else?

Lee Jacintho October 26, 2012 um 5:17 pm

Will this work with a sugar substitute like Splenda?

Helene October 26, 2012 um 11:05 pm

Lee Jacintho: I am sorry to say, it won't.

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