Reprinted with permission from Rustic Italian Food by Marc Vetri, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
Photo credit: Kelly Campbell © 2011
- Makes about forty 1-inch squares
- 2 pints fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon powdered pectin
- 2 3/4 cups sugar, plus more for ?coating
- 1/2 cup liquid glucose or light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Line a 9 by 7-inch baking dish with microwaveable plastic wrap. Puree the strawberries in a food processor, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Measure out 3 1/3 cups of the puree and pour into a medium saucepan. Warm over low heat.
Mix the pectin and 1/4 cup of the sugar together, then stir into the warmed puree. Bring to a boil and add the remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar in three stages, stirring each addition until dissolved before adding the next.
Stir in the glucose or corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to prevent clumping. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. When the mixture reaches 230°F, stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. When the mixture stops bubbling, immediately pour it into the prepared baking dish, where it will begin to set. Let stand on a rack at room temperature until fully set and cooled, about 1 1/2 hours. The pate should be like soft, squishable Jell-O, set, but not so hard that it's jiggly and would bounce if it fell on the floor.
Store at room temperature covered in plastic wrap. Do not refrigerate, or the sugar may separate out.
When ready to serve, cut the pâté into 1-inch squares. Put the sugar for coating in a bowl and add about 5 cubes to the bowl at a time, tossing to coat.
- Use 1 3/4 cups pineapple puree and a scant 1 tablespoon pectin. Make the puree by peeling and coring the fruit, pureeing it in a food processor, then straining the puree. One medium pineapple will yield about 3 cups puree.
Apple or Pear
- Use 1 1/2 cups apple or pear puree and 1 3/4 teaspoons pectin. Make the puree by peeling and coring the fruit, pureeing it in a food processor, then straining the puree. Three medium apples or pears will yield about 1 1/2 cups puree.
Blackberry or Raspberry
- Use 4 cups fresh berries, pureed and strained to remove the seeds, and 2 3/4 teaspoons pectin.
- Use 4 cups fresh blueberries, pureed and strained, and 2 teaspoons pectin.
- The pate will keep, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days. Cut out and remove squares from the pan as needed.