Pomegranate and Grenadine Pâte de Fruits (Fruit Jellies)

I’ve always loved to make homemade sweets, and as pate de fruits are such an essential part of Christmas (especially for the French side of the family) these homemade fruit jellies are the perfect addition to my 12 days of Christmas.

If you’re not familiar with pate de fruits they’re a fruity jelly sweet, like a soft fruit pastille, covered in sugar. Made with fruit juice, sugar and pectin they’re naturally vegetarian and allergy friendly despite being not particularly healthy. But then again it’s Christmas and it’s time for luxury and indulgence.

Making homemade sweets seems like the height of luxury and difficult techniques, but these are super simple and you end up with some beautiful 100% natural pure fruit pastilles. One batch makes enough for well over 50 jellies, making it easy to have some for our Christmas treats as well as an addition to my homemade hampers. As long as they’re kept in an airtight container they will keep for months.

This recipe is adapted from the fabulous book on preserving by Pam the Jam. I’d thoroughly recommend seeking it out if you enjoy delicious and exciting preserving. I’ve chosen a combination of pomegranate and grenadine as it felt suitably festive and packs a punch of flavour, but you can easily swap any juice you’d like.

Pomegranate and Grenadine Pate de Fruits

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 50-100 jellies

500ml pure pomegranate juice

juice of 1 lime

3 tbsp grenadine

450g granulated sugar

15g pectin

75g glucose syrup

1 tsp flavourless oil

  1. Line a 20cm square baking tin with parchment
  2. Pour the juices and syrup into a deep saucepan.
  3. Stir the pectin powder into half of the sugar. Sprinkle over the juice and stir, heating gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the rest of the sugar, the glucose syrup and oil. Let the sugar dissolve. Then bring to a rolling boil.
  5. You want the temperature to reach 108 degrees Centigrade. This will take 10-15 minutes and you will notice the bubbles changing as the mixture heats. Be sure to scrape down the sides whilst the mixture is bubbling.
  6. As soon as it reached 108 degrees Centigrade, take the pan off the heat and pour into the lined tin.
  7. Leave to cool, then cover with baking parchment. Once fully cold and set cut into pretty shapes. Squares or triangles are the most efficient but I like using mini cookie cutters to stamp out little shapes.
  8. Roll each shape in caster sugar and then store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Goody Good Stuff Taste Testers at work!

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We’re pretty excited to have been chosen as part of the Koalaty taste team for Goody Good Stuff, we thought we’d take the role seriously and host a proper taste testing session. The girls are delighted to be part of this experiment, and while it involves only occasionally taste testing some sweets, for the girls it’s so exciting and important to be able to take part in such an experience. With many sweets and treats that their friends enjoy out of bounds to them, it makes it even more important.

We received a pack of 2 new flavours to taste: Sour Cheery Cherries and Sour Gummy Bears. So with our table set with notepads and pens, glasses of water to clear our palettes, we started tasting. The 4 of us gave some pretty positive responses.

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We first tried the Sour Cheery Cherries and boy are they sour! Our responses varied between super sour and extremely sour! But we liked them like that – I’ve never eaten Haribo (as I’m veggie and avoid gelatine) but apparently they’re on a similar sour scale to Tangfastics. We found them much chewier than the usual big bags of Cheery Cherries, but that’s no bad thing – with a sweet this sour I think you really do need a bit of chew.

Next up were the Sour Gummy Bears – we were expecting a similar sourness, but in fact we all noted that they were more tangy than sour, a kind of sherbet tang which really suited the tropical orange and pineapple flavours. Again these had just the right amount of chew to give them enough ‘bite’ to carry off the tang.

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Following the suggested questions we had a little ‘brainstorm’ over future flavours (are we taking this too seriously?) – Sour Cola Breeze was a very popular idea, as were sour tropical fruits and summer peaches. Little S thought sour mangoes would be rather nice – to which we all replied ‘mmmm’ so it must have been a good idea!

So, all in all a resounding success for Goody Good Stuff Sours and we had such fun – the only question to come from the girls was: When can we do it again? (p.s. if any other freefrom brands need some serious product testing, get in touch!)