I was at a friend’s place yesterday, helping her with her National Gardens Scheme open garden by selling plants and generally giving horticultural help. Kindly she allowed me to bring along some fruit cheese for her visitors to try. As I set up a little corner with a plate of quince cheese and pieces of cracker, one of the other helpers was intrigued: what was this? As I explained her face lit up: “Ah, pâte de fruit!”
Anne was French and had been brought up with these little fruit jellies, rolled in sugar, as treats to be relished often but particularly at special occasions. She reminisced fondly that they had appeared without fail every Christmastime in her family. We Googled “quince” and found it translated as “coing”. So: Pâte de Coing.
I was fascinated by this new knowledge which drew together some references I’d come across previously about fruit cheese being cut into small squares, rolled in sugar and served as little jewel-coloured sweet treats. In fact a friend had recently sent me an article on just this so of course I am now on a mission to find out more…. and to make some! The picture shows my first effort: “pâte de rhubarbe”