Last year we planted a vine to run along our front verandah. The idea was that it would shade the kitchen windows in summer with its foliage, and let the winter sun through to warm us up when the leaves dropped. As we like to have multi tasking plants where possible, we decided to put in an edible grape. We opted for a green one so that we wouldn’t have to worry about the wooden decking getting stained from falling fruit.
This summer we have enjoyed our first crop. The vine has grown like crazy and does a fantastic job of keeping the direct sun out of the front of the house, not to mention that the greenery right outside the large windows looks lovely from inside the house, and softens the look of the building from the street too. The vine was so heavy with fruit that we had to cut off many of the immature bunches which the chooks were more than happy to gobble up! Unfortunately, although they tasted beautiful, the texture was a bit spongey. Having never grown grapes before, we weren’t sure if it was something we had done wrong or not, but put it down to the crazy weather we have had this summer. Our days have been fluctuating back and forth between 42oC with 80% humidity, to 20oC only 2 days later! It’s put some of the chickens off the lay and is definately taking its toll on the kids’ tempers too!
As a result, we had a couple of kilos of fruit that tasted great but weren’t any good to eat, so what to do? Once again, Google to the rescue! I found a few references to Canelle et Vanille, one of my favourite food blogs. I figured they would definately know what they were doing, so I converted their recipe for Strawberry Pate de Fruit to Grape Pate de Fruit.
It was a weekend, so I had my two trusty helpers home to lend a hand, so we pureed the fruit, boiled it up with the sugar and pectin then let it sit. Luckily it didn’t take any where near as long to set as I thought it would (but much longer than Madeleine wanted!). It turned out of the silicon pan beautifully and we coated it with just normal white sugar. Next time though I think I’ll use caster sugar as it is just that little bit finer. They tasted beautiful, you could really taste the grape in them and the texture was lovely, not at all rubbery. You can find a printer friendly version of the recipe here. The girls and I can’t wait to make them again and were thinking raspberries will definately be worth trying. Have you made these before? What flavours do you think would work well?