Citrus Fruit Pâtes (French Fruit Jellies)

Citrus Fruit Pâtes | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Last week Graham and I went to dinner at Cosmos restaurant in Minneapolis where my friend Khanh Tran is the pastry chef. She is a brilliantly talented woman and all of the desserts were breathtaking. I am not generally this liberal with my praise of sweets. I’m often disappointed and rarely quiet about it. Khanh has managed to balance the art of beautiful presentation with deep and true flavors. The last thing we ate that night was a plate of mignardises (small bite sized desserts) and on the platter were two of my all time favorites: French macaroons and citrus fruit pâtes.

My husband quickly claimed the pâtes and I got only a small taste. I decided at that moment I would make my own. I got out my dog-eared 1979 translation of Gaston Lenôtre’s book on candy making. He is the ultimate French pastry chef, old school for sure, but his recipes are tried and true and used by just about every pastry chef cooking today. I’ve tried to make his recipes as simple as possible so you can recreate them easily at home. I’ve also added twists to the flavors to breath new life into this traditional candy.

It is the season of citrus still and the blood oranges are abundant. They make the most beautiful red juice with a slight perfume scent to it. Kumquats are also available and lovely combined with the rich aroma of vanilla. Lastly I combined the floral tartness of Meyer lemons with Rosemary. This one would make a great palate cleanser between courses, or just a lovely light dessert!

Here are the recipes:

Blood Orange Pâte

Kumquat and Vanilla Bean Pâte

Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Pâte

18 thoughts to “Citrus Fruit Pâtes (French Fruit Jellies)”

  1. Those look fabulous! I am going to have to give those a try :). Like you, I am also a fan of french macaroons! Can you recommend any sources that have an authentic recipe? Those that I have found have been flavorless or gummy.

  2. zoe, that is what I thought too! I found some sweet limes when I went to get blood oranges and Meyer lemons–I think I am going to make some with sweet lime and mint (sounds like a drink). We’ll see how it turns out. 🙂

  3. OK, I made a couple of batches last night, and although they were set and dry when I cut them, they are getting really watery now. Did you have this too?

    Sweet lime and mint was a GREAT combination.

  4. Hi Wynk,

    Yes, they will weep slightly from the moisture and temperature change in the refrigerator. Just take a clean paper towel and wick the moisture off the top before you cut and coat them in sugar!

    I bought mint and limes yesterday for a party I’m having tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Zoë

  5. Zoe–
    your website is beautiful…another inspiration for me to get one going. I love to bake and loved working with you at Cooks of Crocus classes. Since then I have had a few prize winning pies!
    My next venture is bread so I am going to get your new book.
    Happy baking!

  6. Thank you so very much. I have been looking for a simple recipe for Pate de fruit for years. I used your process to make a mango/peach and a kiwi pineapple pate ( fruits I had lying around the house). oh… it was absolutely delicious. I purchased some fruit pates in NYC and almost needed a loan from a bank. My favorite were the green ones. Were they pear do you suppose???

  7. Hi Zoe,

    I’m so happy to have found this recipe. I’m making a bunch of grapefruit candies for my husband’s birthday this week.

    I was wondering: I know that grapefruit pith is quite bitter. Would I need to remove the pith for this recipe or is the whole fruit still ok?

    Thank you!

  8. Hi Zoe, thanks a ton for the lovely recipes! You mentioned an english translation of a Gaston Lenotre’s book on candy making. I have a friend who collects cookbooks and I’d like to gift her this book. Could you please tell me the title? Thanks a ton

  9. I made the orange pate with juice oranges and it did not set up completely. The taste is very nice. Can I put it back on the heat and add more Certo? I also made one with grapefruit and thyme, that one did set up perfectly.

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