Colour is a great source of inspiration, isn’t it? Sometimes just one gorgeous, vibrant hue can trigger a whole chain of ideas and creations. These beautiful red dahlias, the last of this year’s blooms from our village allotments, made me see red – in a good way! I started to think about those lovely, jewel-like sweeties known as Pates de Fruits in France. With colour in mind, I thought I would try to make some with the crimson juices of pomegranates and blood oranges.
I have a project in mind for these fruit jellies. We have a little Christmas/holiday fair coming up in the village hall next month, and I was asked to run a table. I decided that I would make some gifts and sweets to sell on my stall, and donate profits to Action Against Hunger. This organisation is committed to helping people around the world who don’t have enough to feed themselves and their children. I know that lots of people who work in the food industry give a lot, in donations as well as running fundraising projects, to help this cause and I am keen to give too.
So I have been thinking about what I might make to wrap into pretty packages and sell on my stall. I have never made fruit jelly sweeties before, and some practice seemed essential. I must say, it isn’t really as easy as it might seem to get these right. The differences in juices, concentration of fruit purees, the type of pectin, the time of cooking, all affect the result. And in jolly damp old England, the humidity is a factor too. The recipe below worked quite well for me. I made a version with mango puree and jam sugar (sugar with crystallised pectic mixed in) instead of the liquid pectin and that set very nicely too.
What do you think of my plans? Do you have any other ideas for lovely food gifts, sweet or savoury, that might go well on my stall? I plan on testing out some other ideas over the next couple of weeks, for example nougat, flavoured sugars and vin chaud spices. I’d love to hear your ideas for gifts, wrappings, ribbons, presentation – and I’ll share my experiments too.
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