Earl grey and pear pastilles Makes 60-65
Soft and delicate, these pastilles need plenty of space when packing – and don’t forget the waxed paper.
Vegetable oil, for greasing 8 ripe pears, approximately 900g peeled and cored weight 4 tbsp lemon juice 700g caster sugar 2 Earl Grey tea bags 90ml apple-based liquid pectin 300g granulated sugar
Lightly grease a 20x20cm baking tin and line the base and sides with cling film. Cut the pears into small pieces and cook in a pan with the lemon juice and 4 tablespoons caster sugar for 5 minutes, until just softened. Stir in the tea bags, cover and remove from the heat. Infuse for 5 minutes, then remove the tea bags, squeezing any juices into the pears, before discarding. Blend to a smooth purée, then strain through a fine sieve.
In a medium heavy-based pan, stir the purée and the remaining caster sugar over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Add a sugar thermometer to the pan and increase the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 107°C. Add the pectin and continue to stir. Once the temperature returns to 107°C, test the setting point by dropping a little mixture into a bowl of chilled water. If it sets into a ball, it’s ready, if not, stir over the heat for another 2-3 minutes.
Pour into the prepared tin. Once cooled, cover with cling film and set overnight in the fridge.
The next day, cover a baking sheet with the granulated sugar. Turn the set jelly onto the sugar, then carefully peel off the cling film. With a lightly greased large cook’s knife, cut into small diamonds. Toss the jellies in sugar and leave to dry for 1 hour before packing in boxes between layers of waxed paper. Keep in the fridge.