Pâte de Fruit, what is it? Get some!
pictured: local raspberries, Spanish Monstrell, Allspice liqueur
So what is pâte de fruit?
It is an old school French method of preserving fruit, much like jam.
So why do I like it? Well, as life goes, version 2.0 of pâte de fruit is pretty fun. Chocolatiers and patissiers have modernized it. In a bonbon or gateaux it will add titillation, a bite of bright flavor. Jaques Genin in Paris is a guru of this work. Tomato, red bell pepper, exotic fruits, he leads the new school exploration of this confection. On your next jaunt to Paris, get some. For me, in California, I have the bounty of our climate, our immigrant cultures and their agricultural influence, a fantastic array of fruit to explore... and wine.
My interest was really piqued with wine jelly. At a Lodi area winery some years ago, I found really well made and flavorful jellies made from Bordeaux style grapes, like Petit Verdot. Why not I thought, fruit and wine and pâte de fruit. Wine grapes have flavors that we know well, and we can associate with fruit and spice and herb. And there the game for me begins. Plum and Zinfandel. Pear and Chardonnay. Strawberry and Cava. Passion Fruit and Grüner Veltliner. The game is endless and delicious.
pictured: passion fruit grown in Fremont, Austrian Grüner Veltliner
My versions of these confections are seasonal.
I strive to use locally grown fruit with great flavor. Get some while they last.