(Russian translation will be available nest post)
Thick apple pastille
Pastille, which, like marmalade, is made from apples, is dense and loose. Dense pastille was originally made in the form of a paste, from which it got its name. As a rule, apples and other fruits were plucked by the wind, and therefore unripe was used for its preparation.
To prepare such a pastille, the apples are washed, put in a large container, and poured enough water to fill the gaps between the fruits. Apples are boiled until the peel begins to crack, after which they are thrown onto a sieve and wiped.
Then sugar is added to the resulting puree or “apple dough”, as it was called before: about 100 g per 8 kg of puree and simmers until thickened. Then the resulting mass is poured into molds no more than 5 cm high and dried.
Candy is considered one of the varieties of a dense pastille. Its difference from the above-described “paste” is that during cooking, 200 g of sugar per 8 kg of puree are added to the fruit or berry mass (sometimes sugar is replaced with potato molasses) and a tablespoon of pear or pineapple essence is added. Attention! These essences are NOT added to fruit and berry varieties of figs!
How to make a fruit candy
In addition to apples, for the preparation of this delicacy, you can use plums, quince, peaches, and apricots with “barrels” and even pomace of raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, black currants, which have good stickiness.
If the fruit candy is prepared from cherries, red currants, lingonberries, then apple puree must be mixed with the berries so that the mass is sticky and keeps its shape well. When using pomace of berries, remember that to prepare candies, they must be used as soon as possible, otherwise, the pomace will ferment and lose its stickiness, and will not solidify after boiling.
When such a nuisance – non-solidification of the mass in the form nevertheless happens, then it is corrected by adding agar-agar (200 g per 8 kg of puree) and digestion over low heat. It is important not to forget that fruit and berry purees burn very quickly, so many pastry chefs boil apple and other types of dough for candies and pastilles in a water bath.
Sugar or potato syrup is added at the very beginning of puree: for every half kilogram of mass, about 300-400 g of sugar are taken to prepare candies, for sour varieties of fruits and berries, this amount is slightly increased. Next, the mass is boiled in a water bath or over low heat with constant stirring until it thickens.
The readiness of candy can be determined by a very simple criterion: a well-cooked mass is bubbling, while stirring, it easily lags behind the bottom and splashes. Also, readiness can be checked in a classical way, as in the manufacture of all types of jam: a drop of mass is lowered onto a cold plate and, if it does not spread, but solidifies and is easily removed with a knife, without losing its shape, then the candy is ready.
The finished mass is poured into molds, large plates, or just sheets, lightly oiled with vegetable oil, and left to solidify and dry further. When using ovens, keep the door ajar and keep the temperature around 50 degrees. This drying can take 15 to 24 hours.
Depending on the desire, sometimes the frozen candy is cut into portions or rolled into a tube, rolled in granulated sugar, and then dried. In some cases, the unfinished candy layer is cut, then doused in sugar, and brought to readiness.
Absolutely all sorts of cherries are suitable for making candies, but the best-tasting delicacy is obtained from dark cherries, whose berries are almost black in color. The fruits are pitted, passed through a meat grinder, after which granulated sugar is added to the pureed cherry in a ratio of 1: 1 or a little more if the cherry is sour.
Next, the berry mass is boiled until thickened, stirring constantly, and then poured into molds. Cherry candy is distinguished by its pronounced taste and special juiciness, but for this reason (abundance of juice) it dries longer than candies made from apples or other berries.
Strawberries have very small grains, for this reason, the berries are usually not rubbed through a sieve, but used whole. It has also been observed that whole berries dry and freezes faster than pure berries. For 400 g of strawberries, they usually take from 200 to 300 g of granulated sugar – depending on the sweetness of the berries.
If the summer was rainy and the strawberries grew watery, then to prepare the candies, add some “apple dough” to the berry puree: about 2 kg per 8 kg of berries.
Just as described above, candies are prepared from raspberries, currants, apricots, dogwood, apples and pears, oranges. If you pour different berry and fruit masses into one mold layer by layer, having previously allowed them to solidify, you will get an old delicacy called “allied pasta”. After all the layers have hardened, the mass is removed from the mold, dried, and stored wrapped in parchment paper.
Churchkhela, or, as it used to be called in Georgia, dzhandzhuka, is a special kind of pastille popular in the Caucasus. Various varieties of nuts are strung on threads, often interspersed with pieces of dried fruit, and in some areas using only fruit, without nuts.
These blanks are dipped in a kind of liquid jelly made from wheat flour and grape must, i.e. not yet fermented grape juice. Each workpiece is dipped in this jelly several times, drying each layer in a hanging position.
The author of an old book for confectioners, on the basis of which this publication is being prepared, recommends cooking traditional cranberry, blackcurrant, or raspberry jelly, claiming that churchkhela with it turns out to be no less tasty than the classic Caucasian delicacy.
The classic protein pastille, for which Soviet schoolchildren sometimes mistook the chalk sticks lying at the blackboard, belongs to the type of loose pastille. This delicacy is not prepared from all varieties of apples, as is the case with dense pastille, but only from sour fruits belonging to late autumn and winter varieties: Antonovka, Tablet, Titovka, Juicy brilliant green, etc.
For white pastille, choose those varieties that give a light puree, apples with pinkish flesh are suitable for red pastille. “Apple dough” is prepared in the same way as described above: the fruits are boiled in a small amount of water until tender, rubbed through a sieve. The resulting puree for making homemade pastille is whipped by hand or with a mixer until it turns white and grows in size. Then the “apple dough” is spread on a sieve to let the juice drain, which will prevent the mass from loosening and whipping well.
In the process of whipping, egg whites are added to the applesauce, and at the very last stage – granulated sugar or powdered sugar, after which the mass is whipped for some time so that the sugar has time to dissolve in the apples and thicken the moisture present in the puree. It is important to remember that sugar is always added at the end of beating the pastille – this gives it tenderness and does not reduce the friability of the structure. It should also be noted that an excess of sugar precipitates the mass, makes the pastille heavy and viscous.
The classic Belevskaya pastille is prepared slightly violating the traditional order of mixing the ingredients: first, whisk the whites in a separate container, then gently add applesauce to them and continue whipping. In accordance with the classic recipe, 1 protein from a large egg was taken for 900 g of “apple dough”.
When the whole mass becomes fluffy enough and airy, add 450 g of granulated sugar to it and beat until all the grains of sugar dissolve. After that, the mixture was laid out on a sieve in a layer about 2.5 cm thick and dried at a moderate (about 55 degrees) oven temperature: for two nights the pastille was left in the oven, during the day it was taken out and placed in a dry, warm place.
The famous Kolomna pastille is prepared in the same way, with the only exception that for 1 kg of apple dough there are 3 proteins and 900 g of granulated sugar.
Homemade pastille according to old classical recipes were prepared in almost the same way as Belevskaya and Kolomna pastille, only they usually gave it the shape of a cake 2-2.5 cm high.
The whites and applesauce are whipped in separate containers, then mixed, poured into molds, and dried in the oven at 90 degrees – for this reason, Ukrainian candy is spongy and dry inside.
Various recipe variations:
for one protein take 1.8 kg of applesauce and 900 g of granulated sugar;
12 proteins account for 3.6 kg of applesauce and 900 g of sugar;
18 proteins account for 11 kg of applesauce and 2.5 kg of sugar;
for 3 proteins, 2.7 kg of applesauce and 1.4 kg of granulated sugar are taken.
Pastille: recipe with dry protein
You can also use a factory trick to make homemade pastille: replace regular protein with powdered one. To do this, 450 dry protein is diluted in 2.3 liters of boiled warm water and this solution is used, replacing chicken eggs with it – this amount of cooked mass is equivalent to 200 fresh eggs.
The best pastille production, which uses egg powder, was considered one in which 600-700 g of applesauce is one protein and 450 g of granulated sugar. The proteins are poured into the apples during the whipping process and, when the mass turns white, sugar is added. Then fruit essence is poured into the pastille, tinted with food colors – usually pink and laid out to dry in molds.
As soon as the pastille dries up and a thin crust forms on its surface, sprinkle it with powdered sugar, remove it from the mold, and spread it on sheets of baking paper. On the remaining sides, the pastille is also sprinkled with powder so that the pieces do not stick to each other, and placed in a dryer.
Berry pastille at home
Fruit juices and berry puree can also be used to make delicious homemade marshmallows, but remember that these ingredients in their pure form are never used to make marshmallows, only as an addition to traditional applesauce. Without “apple dough”, such a marshmallow will not take the desired shape and will not freeze.
As a rule, raspberries, strawberries, black currants, or strawberries are used for berry marshmallows: the desired type of berries is rubbed through a sieve and added to the applesauce in a 2: 5 ratio. Then, for every 0.5 kg of the resulting mass, 1 protein and 200 g of granulated sugar are added. Further, the berry marshmallow is prepared in the same way as other varieties of this delicacy.
When making cherry pastilles, it is important to remember that the juice of the cherry strongly precipitates the apple mass and therefore it is not recommended to add more than 900 ml of it – the pastille may not solidify and will need to be digested with the addition of agar-agar.
This type of pastille is remarkable in that it replaces sugar with honey: for every 0.5 kg of applesauce, about 200 g of good honey is taken. Beat the whole mass until it turns white and all the honey dissolves.
Most often, when making this pastille, they do without adding protein, but in this case, it is best to beat the honey and apples separately, then combine them and beat well again.
Then the whipped mass is poured into molds (the thickness of the pastille layer should not exceed 1.5 cm) and let dry a little. Then, on top of this layer, the second and third are poured in the same way and the pastille is dried in the oven at a temperature of about 60 g. Sometimes the pastille is poured not in layers, but immediately in one layer about 4.5 cm thick, after which it is dried as described above.
Homemade pastille “special”
At the end of the 19th century, this type of pastille was considered a novelty in the confectionery business, therefore it was named “special” or “new”. To prepare this variety of pastille, first beat the whites very carefully to get a lush, thick, and increased mass.
Then fresh raspberries are thoroughly chopped with a blender (well, or in an old-fashioned way – rub through a sieve, but then the seeds will be felt in the pastille). For every 3 proteins, there should be 200 g of raspberry puree, no more.
Gently mix 2.7 kg of “apple dough” with the berry-protein mixture and beat all these ingredients until you get a pink thick mass. The pastille is poured into molds, left to solidify, and then cut into squares or rhombuses with a sharp knife.