Candies Desserts

apricot-earl grey tea pâte de fruit

scents wafting from heaven are here ::::


Past candy-making experience documented here shows my trial and error with jelly and gummy candy. It was all very sad until I did a little chemistry homework to make sense of it all. But not every candy-maker has the same bad results, even with the same recipes. The size  of sugar actually makes a difference too.

Last year, I waxed prolific on the heavenly combination of apricots and Earl Grey Tea after trying ubuntu‘s post-dessert apricot jellies with Earl Grey sugar. The perfect recipe has alluded me until I relented and decided to try a tried-and-true pâte de fruit recipe again. Pâte de fruit is not quite a jelly candy recipe, but an easy swap if craving that sort of consistency. I searched for a fresh apricot jelly candy type recipe using this summer’s fresh apricots without luck. Most that I found touted the “candy” title but admitted post-recipe that, really, they had instructions for spreadable jelly. I revisited a recipe using canned apricots, apricot jam, and dried apricots instead. While I had some sweaty candies the first and second time I made these pâte de fruits in 2007, this time dredging was better when using larger grained sugar. I sugared my pâte de fruit and stored them for a few days in the fridge with finger-tip stickiness only. I wouldn’t even call that weepy! Success!

I felt the tea flavor in the sugar melded better with the candies after a day of sitting in the fridge after dredging. Obviously, these are very sweet when sugared, so a little goes a long way. Experiment with other teas here. Perhaps a nice grassy green tea would pair well with the apricots. Or try a fruit-flavored zinger tea to bring out the tang of apricot. Find your own little taste of Heaven.


as soft as a baby's bottom



apricot-earl grey tea pâte de fruit
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: many
  • One 15-ounce can apricots in syrup
  • 12 dried apricot halves (4 ounces)
  • 12 ounce jar of apricot preserves (I used one that was only fruit juice sweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup large grain turbinado sugar, plus more for coating*
  • 2 envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin (4½ teaspoons)
  • ⅓ cup water, to boil
  • 1 teabag of Earl Grey Tea, plus 1-2 more for sanding sugar
  1. Lightly oil an 8-by-8-inch straight-edged baking dish. Line the dish with a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper that extends 4 inches beyond the rim.
  2. Strain the apricot syrup from the can into a saucepan; reserve the apricots. Add the dried apricots to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the apricots are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a food processor. Add the reserved canned apricots, the apricot preserves, lemon juice, and the ½ cup of sugar. Process until smooth (this works better if you have a VitaMix). Set aside.
  4. Boil the ⅓ cup water and add one Earl Grey teabag to steep for a couple of minutes. Allow to cool slightly as you work on the next step.
  5. Transfer the apricot puree to the saucepan and boil over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until it has thickened and any excess liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stirring is important as the mixture will scorch if not stirred as it comes to a boil.
  6. Pour steeped tea into a microwave-safe bowl. In small amounts to avoid clumping, sprinkle the gelatin over the tea, stirring in between additions. Microwave 10-20 seconds to dissolve the gelatin completely. Stir the gelatin-tea mixture into the apricot puree. Scrape the mixture into the prepared dish and smooth the surface. Let cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Prepare sanding sugar: Cut open two unused teabags and pour contents into spice mill. Grind until tea is very fine. Mix about 1 teaspoon ground tea with 2 tablespoons sugar, depending on how many of the candies you want to sugar with the tea sugar versus plain sugar (I did a mixture of both).
  8. Just before serving, unmold the apricot pâte de fruit onto a work surface. Peel off and discard the wax/parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut the pâte into 1-inch squares or triangles (I used mini cookie cutters to make cute shapes). Spread tea sugar (or plain sugar) in a shallow bowl. Roll the pieces in the sugar to coat. Arrange on a platter and serve.
  9. Make Ahead: The pâte de fruit can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week. Dab with paper towels before proceeding, if weepy. Mine did great great in the fridge for a few days, and dried out just a little (which can help the weepy factor).
* Why turbinado? First, it is less processed than white sugar. Plus, the larger crystals cling better to the pâte de fruit without the dreaded weepiness. If you don't have it, use the regular white table sugar, but dredge sweets just before serving. I dredged my sweets, stored them in the fridge and had no trouble with weeping. They also taste great without sanding in sugar, but you won't have as much of the tea flavor.


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