This recipe calls for vanilla bean paste, which is a thick liquid that contains vanilla seeds. It can commonly be found at kitchen and baking supply stores, and even in some grocery stores. If you don't have vanilla bean paste you can substitute the seeds from a vanilla bean instead, or use vanilla extract for a more subtle vanilla flavor.
Yield: 1 8x8 pan Pâte de Fruits
- 14 ounces guava puree
- 2-1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp Pomona's Universal Pectin (see Note below)
- 1 tsp calcium water (comes with Pomona's pectin, see Note below)
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- Additional 1 cup granulated sugar, for dredging
1. Place a small plate in the freezer. Spray an 8x8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line the pan with a layer of cling wrap, pressing it firmly into the corners and extending it over the sides. Set the pan aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and the pectin. Make sure that the rest of the ingredients are all prepared and within easy reach.
3. Pour the fruit puree into a 6-quart saucepan, whisk in the calcium water, and place the pan over medium heat. Bring the fruit puree to a boil, and once it is bubbling, sprinkle the sugar-pectin mixture over the top and whisk it in.
4. Bring the mixture back to a boil, then add the remaining 2 cups of sugar in four batches, whisking it well and letting the puree come back to a boil each time you add the sugar. As you whisk, be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to prevent scorching.
5. Once all of the sugar is added, add the corn syrup and let the candy boil while whisking constantly. Continue to cook for 8 minutes while the puree thickens. After 8 minutes, take the plate from the freezer and spoon a small amount of puree onto it. Let it sit for one minute, and then check the texture. The puree should be firm enough to peel off the plate, yet still soft and chewy. If the puree is too loose or sticky, cook it for another 2-3 minutes, then test the texture on the plate again.
6. When it is done, the texture will have changed from a liquid to more of a thick, viscous gel in the pot, and the "cold plate test" will yield a product that holds together but is soft and chewy. Depending on your stove, this may take anywhere from 8-14 minutes of cooking after the corn syrup is added.
7. Once the puree is done, remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice and vanilla paste, whisking to incorporate them. Pour the pâte de fruit into the prepared pan and gently shake the pan to smooth it into an even layer. Allow it to sit and firm up at room temperature, for about 2 hours, or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
8. Once firm, remove the pâte de fruit from the pan and use a large sharp chef's knife dipped in water to cut it into small squares or rectangles. Roll the cut squares in granulated sugar. Store Guava-Vanilla Bean Pâte de Fruits in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Note: Pomona's Universal Pectin can be found online and in the baking section of many health food stores (I get mine at Whole Foods). This pectin jells by reacting with calcium, which is why the recipe calls for a small amount of calcium water. To make the calcium water, follow the instructions on the package and mix 1/2 teaspoon of the provided calcium powder with 1/2 cup of water. After using 1 teaspoon calcium water in this recipe, the remainder of the water can be stored in the refrigerator for several months. Pomona's provides a very consistent result with a shorter cooking time than most other pectins. Substituting other brands of pectin may not produce a satisfactory taste or texture.