apricot-earl grey tea pâte de fruit
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: many
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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).
Notes
* 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.
Recipe by story of a kitchen at https://www.storyofakitchen.com/dessert-recipes/apricot-earl-grey-tea-pate-de-fruit/