Thursday, 8 September 2011

strawberry paste... strawberry candy.

soft and chewy strawberry jelly candy.

Don't you just love it when you try to make something and you mess it up - only to gain a fabulous final product anyway?

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when I made this. I had visions of a silky strawberry butter - similar to strawberry jam, but with a texture so soft and smooth and velvety that you'd want to drown in it. Death by strawberry butter. Yes.

cooking them strawberries with sugar.

Well! That didn't happen. I cooked it too much, for too long, so instead of a dreamy strawberry butter, I got strawberry paste instead. A strawberry paste so firmly set, you might call it strawberry cheese.

But guess what? I like it. Look, I can slice it up and serve it with brie and crackers! I can cut it into pieces, roll it in sugar and transform it into soft, chewy strawberry jelly candy!

And guess what. All you need is three ingredients. Strawberries. Sugar. Lime juice. That's it. No pectin, no gelatine. How good is that?

life is good with strawberries, brie and crackers...

strawberry paste / strawberry pâtes de fruits (strawberry candies)
(makes one small block of strawberry paste or two dozen strawberry candies)


1 punnet strawberries (250g / 1/2 lb)
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Hull and halve strawberries.
Cook over a medium low heat with sugar for 10 minutes until soft and juices released. Blend till completely smooth.
Return to saucepan and continue cooking for 20 - 30 minutes or until very thick and goopy. Check on it often, stirring so that it doesn't burn at the bottom.
Add lime juice and bring to a boil for a 10 seconds, stirring, then turn down the heat and simmer for another 10 - 15 minutes.
Times may vary, but the mixture should be a deep red colour, the texture dense and sticky. It should start moving in towards the centre of the pan, cling to a spoon (sliding off slowly and reluctantly) and form a clean, distinct line at the bottom of the pan when you scrape across with the spoon. Bring the mixture to boil for a few seconds occasionally to speed up the process.
Pour or scoop into a small tray, mould or other suitable container. Keep it in the refrigerator until set.

When the strawberry paste has set, and you would like to serve it, turn it out.
Cut into thin slices to serve with cheese and crackers. It'll go well with a mature brie, parmesan or cheddar.

Alternatively, cut into pieces and roll in sugar to create strawberry pâtes de fruits - i.e., strawberry jelly candies. I used raw sugar, which gave it a rough appearance and a crunchy texture. Use a finer sugar to achieve a more delicate quality.

I didn't actually get around to retrieving this from the fridge and trying it out until two weeks later. I was pretty excited by then.

So I had it with brie and cracked pepper crackers for lunch...

a dab of strawberry paste, a dab of brie and a cracked black pepper cracker.

And finished off with a dessert of strawberry pâtes de fruits.

strawberry pâtes de fruits, or strawberry jubes.

Life is sweet. Strawberry sweet.

43 comments:

  1. Dear Lord that looks amazingly good! :)
    Must've been delicious with those crackers and the brie! You truly feature incredible recipes here!
    Take care!

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  2. lovely!! sounds perfect with the cheese and crackers... in a picnic... on a nice summer's day... hehe... i can tell youre one of those amazing ppl that cooks anything and everything. thanks for this! =)

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  3. Aw thanks Marie-Anne for your lovely words!

    Thanks Winston! I'd like to say I cook anything and everything - not quite - something to strive for though. :)

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  4. They sound delicious! Especially with cheese!

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  5. This is nothing short of a miracle -my strawberry jam is always very liquid, so I always add pectin to it! In Italy we do something similar with peaches or quinces, it is eaten solid, cut into small cubes. I am dreaming of having the strawberry one now.

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  6. Thanks Foodycat!

    lacaffettierarosa - I think the lime juice might've helped set it. This was a tiny batch too, so it also heated up easily and cooked faster - the temperature might've reached one of those candy stages. Either way, unexpected but pleasant result. :D

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  7. Lady! You're amazing!! This looks so wonderful. I wonder if the same could work with raspberries? Also, I would like mine with blue cheese, please :)

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  8. Looks great! I would never have thought to make this with strawberries and then to add brie on top of that - delicious.

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  9. Thanks Hannah! Hmm, it may work with raspberries! Don't know till we try. ;)

    Thanks Sherilyn! :)

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  10. They do look like a quince paste, don't they?, only 100x much better! I love anything strawberries!

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  11. What a save! I have some strawberries just lying around, I'm going to try it :)

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  12. Thanks PFx! It really does look like those little tubs of gourmet fruit pastes. Don't usually see strawberry ones, but hey it works. :D

    Let me know how you go, JasmyneTea. :D

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  13. That looks so good! I can almost imagine the taste of it! Such a great candy idea for my daughter :)

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  14. oh god, these look delish.. my bf would love these.. hmmm.. this gives me a plan for v day.. thanks :)

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  15. Real strawberry goodness. Can't wait to grab hold of some strawberries.

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  16. Thanks chinmayie! I think kids would enjoy these, and the good thing is it's all natural and has a high fruit content.

    Thanks Dolly! Your boyfriend is lucky to have a girlfriend like you planning for Valentine's so far ahead! ;)

    It really is Penny, you can really smell and taste strawberries when you make and eat this strawberry paste/candy. Very pretty flavours!

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  17. What a great result from a potential disaster. I bet it's just like quince paste.

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  18. These look divine! Like little jewels :) It is wonderful when things turn out like that. You could wrap them up for gifts!

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  19. Hah, that is very cool! What a great accident :)

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  20. Thanks Hotly Spiced - it does remind me of quince paste, but with lovely strawberry goodness instead.

    Thanks Anna! They could definitely work as gifts - will have to make a much bigger batch though. :D

    Thanks Agnes! :)

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  21. Brilliant! What a great recipe that I thin everyone would love, great discovery :)

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  22. I just hopped in her from IntolerantChef's strawberry shortcake and you guys have given me a major crave for doing something with strawberries now!

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  23. Thanks Procrastobaker!

    chopinandmysaucepan, go for it! I got these strawberries fairly cheap at the markets, and they tasted lovely.

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  24. This is so fun. I love that you made the thick paste into candies. The coarse sugar makes these a total treat!

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  25. You're awesome! I mean why not have it with cheese. It's just like quince paste! Way to go with turning a mishap into something delicious.

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  26. Thanks Marla! I was thinking they might be nicer with fine sugar, but I do have a fondness for raw sugar. :p

    Thanks girls who like to gorge! :)

    Thanks Yas! I'm very glad I still got something delicious out of it, for sure. :D

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  27. Perfect! I have a couple of punnets of strawberries in the fridge that I haven't had the chance to eat yet. I think I'll give this ago! Thank you!

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  28. AH, excellent idea to pair it with brie and crackers!

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  29. That looks brilliant! Yayy for strawberry and cheese...

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  30. What an awesome idea.... am going to try these out:)

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  31. Thanks Apple, let me know if you try it! :)

    Thanks Sylvie! Love fruit paste with brie.

    Indeed, msihua!

    Thanks Cassie, hope you like it! :D

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  32. Oh Leaf, what a Marvelous Mistake indeed! I MUST MAKE SOME- NOW!

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  33. Oh, wow! Strawberries are just coming into season here - I have to give this a try!

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  34. Lovely! I'll gladly take death by strawberry butter too though if you ever try to make it again ;)

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  35. Thanks Kaitlin! Yeah, I've got to attempt that one again. ;)

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  36. wow, definitely a must-try now that strawberries are getting cheaper!

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  37. Indeed J - hurrah for cheap strawberries. :D

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  38. What a brilliant idea! Such a great colour too.

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  39. This recipe is amazing! I love to bake (I'm 12 years old) and I made this for my mom for Mother's Day when I couldn't bake. She loved it! Thanks :) do you have any gluten free cupcakes?

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    Replies
    1. Burnt Cupcake, your comment made my day! I'm so happy that you and your mom enjoyed it, thanks for letting me know. :)

      For gluten-free cupcake ideas you could potentially have a look at this one: http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/mini-almond-lemon-thyme-cakes-gluten.html

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