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What is Pates De Fruit?

Chris Kohatsu
Chris Kohatsu

Of all the wonderful confections available throughout the world, pates de fruit are widely recognized as one of the best. These sophisticated candies are usually found through high-end chocolatiers and specialty gourmet food stores. They are bite-sized pieces of fruit jellies sanded with crystallized sugar. Although they may not sound like much, the process for making them is quite intricate, using only the best, typically unsweetened, purest fruit purees.

Pates de fruit translates from French to “fruit paste,” and considerable time is dedicated to making the base. Some recipes call for the use of fruit preserves, others, syrups and jellies. If using fresh fruit, cooks will have to puree it first into liquid form. The fruit puree is heated in order to thicken it, then processed until smooth. Warm liquid gelatin is added to the puree, which turns it into a thick fruit paste. The pates de fruit is then spread into large jelly pans to cool. Once cooled, the jelly pans are inverted, and the solidified paste is cut into cubes.

Retail confectioners and pastry chefs use specialty sanding sugars to coat the sticky pates de fruit. Sanding sugars adhere well, but can be very expensive. Common table sugar, also known as granulated sugar, is sometimes used.

Passion fruit is often included in pates de fruit.
Passion fruit is often included in pates de fruit.

Biting into these confections can be surprising at first. In one bite comes a powerful force of fruit, citric acids, and fruit juice all at once. Pates de fruit are chewy in texture and combine the sweet and sour flavors of natural fruit juice. Those who love gummy candies will be overjoyed with what can be called their “adult version,” as they can be made from natural fruit and robust citric flavorings. Popular varieties include mango, passion fruit, quince, blackberry, pear, and pineapple.

Quince is a popular variety of pates de fruit.
Quince is a popular variety of pates de fruit.

Due to the cost of ingredients as well as the time needed to prepare pates de fruit, they can be relatively expensive candies. A small box can cost around $10 US Dollars (USD), and higher quality retailers may sell them for as much as $25 USD a box. During the winter holiday months, the candies are in highest demand.

Pates de fruit typically do not have a long shelf life, and must typically be consumed within a week. However, people who enjoy them don’t worry about shelf life, as most are eaten and enjoyed as soon as they are purchased.

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Discussion Comments


I made these for a school project and they were easy to make but ended up very squidgy. Everyone said they tasted good though.


@whitesand - I would save myself the time and trouble and just run down to the local drugstore for a bag of Haribo gummi gold-bears.

They're packed with plenty of fruit punch and they're quicker and easier to get your hands on when you need that sweet chewy fruit fix.


@whitesand - Absolutely you can use frozen fruit purees. Try to find the purest fruit puree you possible can because that will produce the best tasting pâte de fruit.

As far as your intimidation over the texture of the candies, success will come after a little practice and maybe a few trial and errors.

Don't let the process scare you though. There are many pate de fruit recipes to help guide you.

But one thing to keep in mind is that it is important to use the correct amount of pectin for each type of fruit because each fruit has their own natural pectin. Pectin is an important ingredient because it helps form the candies consistency.

Also a candy thermometer is essential and be prepared to stir, stir, stir, sometimes up to an hour. Good luck and enjoy!


I have been tempted to make pate de fruits ever since the first time I tasted them. I love making confections from home but I'm a little intimidated by the texture of these sweet little gems. How difficult are they to create? And can I use packaged frozen fruit or does it have to be fresh.

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    • Passion fruit is often included in pates de fruit.
      Passion fruit is often included in pates de fruit.
    • Quince is a popular variety of pates de fruit.
      By: Anna Kucherova
      Quince is a popular variety of pates de fruit.
    • Mango juice can be used in pates de fruit.
      By: volff
      Mango juice can be used in pates de fruit.
    • Pates de fruit may include pears.
      By: IngridHS
      Pates de fruit may include pears.