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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Yuzu Fruit Gelées

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Fruit gelées are something I have always wanted to make. I saw a recipe for a Yuzu gelée in The French Laundry Cookbook and I have been on a quest ever since. So I went online to find the recipe and I started reading the comments from those who have tried this recipe and there was widespread agreement that the recipe sucked and simply did not work. The temperatures mentioned were inaccurate and made no sense and the mixture never set up. Frankly, I have had that same failing experience with 3 other recipes from that same cookbook — so cooks beware! Just because the book is expensive and full of beautiful photos does not make it good or even usable. So I went back to the internets and did more research and found this perfect — yes, I said perfect! — recipe from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America. Trust me! This recipe yields 120 pieces.

Ingredients
3/4 cup frozen fruit juice concentrate (I used a Yuzu, which is a Japanese citrus)
1 1/4 cups water
2 1.75 oz packages of powdered fruit pectin
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon fruit extract or oil
food coloring as needed (optional)

Procedure
Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch heat-safe pan with a little non-stick spray. Line the bottom of your pan with a piece of parchment paper and lightly coat it with non-stick spray.

Pull out two large saucepans. In one, combine the fruit juice concentrate, the water, pectin and baking soda (it will foam up). In the second pan, combine the corn syrup and sugar. Place both pans over medium high heat. Bring both mixtures to a boil and then reduce the heats to medium. Cook both for roughly 8 minutes. For the sugar solution, I'm not going to call for a candy thermometer since we're going rely on a simpler visual cue (this is a note from original recipe which I love because at my altitude temperatures vary). Once the sugar solution begins to turn a little yellow (barely starting to caramelize), it's ready. Pull the pan off the heat and slowly pour the sugar mixture into the boiling fruit mixture. It's going to bubble violently, so pour slowly.

Cook this mixture for a minute longer, stirring constantly to ensure the sugar is completely melted and then remove from heat. Now you can adjust the flavor with a little citrus oil if you want. To test the flavor of the syrup, spoon a little onto a plate and allow to cool before tasting. Adjust the flavor as desired, add a little food coloring, if needed, and then pour into your prepared pan. Place the pan on a level surface and allow to cure at room temperature for 2 hours.

When the candy has cured and set, scatter some superfine sugar onto a flat baking sheet. Peel the candy from the pan and lay onto the sugared baking sheet. Using a pizza cutter coated in a little nonstick spray, cut the candy into simple cubes. If you're feeling fancy, you can use small cookie cutters or aspic cutters to cut out shapes.