Why my fruit pastes do not jell? The riddle of the week.


Neither gelatin nor pectin are an ingredient of these licorice jellies. Funny, isn't it? :)


Today, I decided to create a little diversion. Those who read my blog on regular basis know that, usually, the Tuesday’s post is dedicated to some sort of nerdy food science discussion :) But, today, I would like to present you some riddle. Follow me till the end, please, because I have a little surprise for you.

A while ago, I attempted making some fruit pastes (with pectin, of course!). You know fruit pastes, right? Those candies covered with crystals of sugar, whose coarseness contrasts with the smoothness of the inner paste?

The story is that my hubby bought way too much grape. As the poor one was going to perish in the fridge, I decided it was an excellent candidate for fruit pastes. I’d like to say that, at the time, I knew very little about pectin’s mechanism of action and, on the top of that, I never made fruit pastes! But, I was totally determined to get my pastes and, very bravely, I started to carry out my new experiment. I meticulously cleaned the grape, I blended it and filter the pulp from seeds and peels. I transferred the pulp into a pot and I brought it to boil. I eventually added pectin, as indicated in the recipe, and removed the pot from the stove. At this point, I should have added tartaric acid, but I did not have it...I checked the pantry: I had cream of tartar, instead, and I added it to the pulp. It won’t make a huge difference, I thought!

I poured the hot liquid into some baking mold and let it jell. The time passed, but the liquid didn’t jell. I waited till the next day, but nothing changed: the mass was still liquid. Why my fruit pastes didn’t jell? :(

With much disappointment, I throw everything away and I started looking for articles about pectin and its mechanism of jelling (maybe, it would have been wiser doing it as a first thing!!!). I just needed to read a few paragraphs to learn what I did wrong...and you, guys, did you figure my mistake?

Why my fruit pastes did not jell?

Here the surprise: the first person who will answer correctly and in detail, will win two bottles of maple syrup, directly from Canada :)

Would you like to participate? It’s super easy: send me a message, using this form, with the correct answer.

You have time till Tuesday April the 10th 2018, at midnight (Ottawa time). Good luck! :)