How to Make Apple Pâte de Fruits at Home

February  4, 2014

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Ashley Rodriguez from Not Without Salt makes an apple pâte de fruit (a fancy French term for jelly candy) that feels at home on dessert platters and cheese plates alike.

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At the restaurant where I started my career as a pastry chef, we never sent customers home without some sort of sweet taste lingering in their mouths. We'd often surprise guests with a bountiful plate filled with house-made cookies and candies. At the end of my shift, I never wanted to leave without a little sweet either, so I'd reach for a pâte de fruit in whatever flavor we happened to have that night.

These pâtes de fruits taste like Fruit Roll Ups, a rare but favorite snack of my childhood. They’re fresh-tasting and intensely flavored, with all of the apple's fruit essence concentrated into a small candy, coated in a sweet sugar crunch.

They take a little time and a bit of attention, but the reward is a candy that feels fancy and finds its home on cookie plates and cheese plates alike. 

Apple Pâte de Fruits

Makes 3 dozen

8 medium apples (tart apples or a mix), cored and sliced thickly
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Lightly coat an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with flavorless oil or cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment, then lightly cover the parchment in oil. In a large pot, combine the apples and 1 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue to cook 5 to 10 minutes more, until the apples are cooked through and falling completely apart, like applesauce. If the apples start to look dry before getting saucy, cover with the lid.

Press the mixture through a fine sieve or a food mill so that you have a smooth, peel-free purée.

More: Looking for another apple-y use for your food mill? Try Roasted Apple Butter.

Return the purée to the pot and add the salt, sugar, and lemon juice. Simmer for about an hour. Stir often and watch for changes in thickness, scraping the bottom of the pan often to prevent scorching. 

After an hour, the apple mixture should mound up and start to stiffen. Once it has done that, spread the mixture into an even layer in the prepared pan.

Let the jellies set in the pan for several hours or overnight to cool and firm. (If the mixture is still quite wet you can put the pan into the oven at 150° F until it feels firm.) 

The mixture will stiffen as it cools, so you can check the final consistency by placing a small amount onto a plate and sticking it in the freezer for a few moments.

Cut into 1-inch squares and coat in sugar. The granulated sugar will eventually dissolve, so only cover the ones you plan to serve right away. Without the sugar coating, the paste is wonderful served alongside aged cheddar on a cheese plate. 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Ashley Rodriguez 

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • lfm
  • Ashley Rodriguez
    Ashley Rodriguez
  • Martin Snow
    Martin Snow
  • Brianna Plaza
    Brianna Plaza
  • Shikha Kaiwar
    Shikha Kaiwar
Author of Date Night In (2015) and creator of the blog, Not Without Salt.


lfm November 16, 2014
I tried to make these but they didn't set up at all - just produced some intensely flavored apple spread
Ashley R. February 11, 2014
BethFalk - Other fruits make stunning candies as well but search for a specific recipe relating to the fruit you want to use as some require the use of pectin.
Ashley R. February 11, 2014
Shikha - I've never tried that and because of all the spices generally already in apple butter I'd be leery of reducing those flavors further.
Ashley R. February 11, 2014
Martin - I invert the pan then remove the parchment when I go to cut them.
Brianna- It certainly does. Quince makes a beautiful variation. Other fruits may require the use of pectin as apples have a high amount of pectin in them so I'd search for a recipe of a specific fruit that you are hoping to use.
Martin S. February 9, 2014
When do you remove the parchment from the pan?
Brianna P. February 5, 2014
Do you think this would work with other fruits? Then I could have a mixed basket of fruit jellies. That would be delightful.
Shikha K. February 5, 2014
mmmm. I have a big jar of apple butter already - could I just use that?
BethFalk February 4, 2014
I'm so anxious to try this! Will it work equally well with pears or with stone fruit?
Kate February 4, 2014
Thank you SO MUCH for this! I've been dying to make homemade jellies — this is clearly the recipe I'll be using.