Are you looking for a way to use up that bag of cranberries that you have left over from the Holidays? Or perhaps you are simply planning ahead to make something special for your Valentine? I’ve got just the thing.
Last year, before Christmas, my friend Paula and I held our annual candy making extravaganza that I have come to know as Candyfest. This year we were joined by my friend Wendy as well and since we had all that woman power, we decided to be ambitious and make no less than 10 kinds of candy. That was enough for every slot in the box plus a slab of Peppermint Bark on top.
I had dreams of posting some of the new candy before Christmas, but as my holiday pie orders increased, shifted my goal to before Valentine’s Day.
This recipe comes from Cooking Lessons and you won’t believe how easy it was!
In fact I am feeling inspired and plan to make all sorts of pate de fruit with my slightly-too-ripe fruit in the future. Only four, count them, four ingredients go into this fresh and delicious candy.
Fresh Cranberry Pate de Fruit
from Cooking Lessons
- 1 small lemon, sliced and seeds removed
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
- 6 ounces (1 bottle or 2 pouches) Certo liquid pectin
- 2 1/2 cups sugar, and more for rolling
1. Cut two 8-by-13-inch rectangles of parchment paper to line an 8-inch square pan. Place one rectangle in pan in one direction and the second rectangle overlapping in the opposite direction. (See the photo later in the post for more detail on this)
Look how pretty the cranberries and lemons are together in the processor.
2. Purée lemon slices, cranberries and 1/4 cup water in food processor until smooth. The puree process took about 6-7 minutes…longer than I would have thought, but stick with it, it will get smooth eventually.
3. Combine cranberry purée in medium sauce pan with sugar, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring often, for 4 minutes. The red is intense and gorgeous!
4. Remove pan from heat and stir in pectin. Return to heat and bring to a boil again. Stir for 1 minute. Pour into pan and let cool until set. My candy began to set almost immediately. Cover and refrigerate in pan until ready to cut.
5. Using the parchment paper as handles, lift the square of jelly out in one piece and set it on a cutting board. Pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1-inch squares and roll in sugar.
NOTE: The sugar eventually melts and oozes on the candy. To delay this process, the original recipe recommends cutting the candies and then drying the cut candies on a rack for an hour or so before rolling them in the sugar. I had no patience for such a thing, so I rolled the freshly cut candy in sugar and then placed them on small squares of wax paper. They did ooze a bit over time, but remained delicious for days.
TASTING NOTES: I really liked these candies. They were sweet, but also somewhat tart and ever so slightly bitter (from the pith on the lemons, I imagine). The taste was complex and the mouthfeel was lovely. Plus they are fat free, so healthy, right?
Next up for Candyfest 2012…Cherry Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge. Yummmm!