With plums in season now, and their amazing variety and flavours, I had a temptation to make sugar free confectionary I usually make with apples – apple pastila, replacing apples, as an ingredient, with plums. Technically speaking the recipe is not for marshmallows. Typical marshmallows are sugar based confection with either egg or gelatine. It can be also based on corn syrup. The structure and consistency of this plum pastila is different from marshmallows, but I still gave this recipe a title of more recognisable product.
In a sense this confection is plum pastila, made with raw organic honey instead of sugar. Agar-agar is used as a gelling agent. Plum puree has more liquid and less pectin, compared to green apples. I had to work out specific quantities and ratios of ingredients, to achieve intense fruit taste without excess sweetness and to end up with a soft and moist texture of this confection.
I cook my apple and plum puree in microwave. It is fast and effective method, which allows to cook fruits without water and concentrate puree while cooking fruit flesh. You can always cook plums in a sauce pan, with minimal quantity of water. The only rule is, that during cooking the weight of fresh plums has to be reduced by half. If you take 500g of plums, add some water and cook puree, the weight of the final product has to be 250g. In this recipe it is necessary to cook plums with skin, which is a source of rich flavour and contains lots of pectin.
Overall plum pastila/marshmallows confection is easy to make. It is easier using benchtop mixer, but if you can manage beating and pouring simultaneously, it can be done with had held mixer.
- 250g plum puree (500g of plums, not overly ripe, pitted)
- 200g raw organic honey
- 15g of egg white (approximately 1/2 egg white), room temperature
- 200g raw organic honey
- 6g agar-agar
- 40ml water
- finely grinded organic shredded coconut, or organic coconut flour (you can use coconut or any other raw sugar, if you can tolerate unrefined sugars, or any fine nut meal)
All confections prepared with honey, never develop the skin, typical when refine sugar is used to make confection, and rubbing the surface with icing sugar is used to stabilize the skin. In all recipes for this blog, I am not allowed to use any sugars, or starches, or even cocoa powder to form the skin. I tried once to use cinnamon powder on apple pastila, but the flavour it added, was too powerful and completely overshadowed the delicate flavour of pastila.
- thoroughly wash, dry and pit plums
- cut each plum in 6-8 pieces, depending on their size
- place plum pieces in deep glass bowl and microwave in 3 steps for 10 – 10 – 7 min, stirring after each cooking time (to get the right puree consistency, make sure that the weight of plums is reduced by half)
- puree cooked plums (flesh and skin) with stick blender
- let puree cool to room temperature
- prepare shallow baking tray (30cm x 20cm at least 2cm deep), line the bottom of the tray with baking paper, use any liquid to keep baking paper in place
- place exactly 250g of plum puree in a bowl of benchtop mixer
- add 200g honey and beat on high for 5 min
- add egg white and beat for another 7-10min, or until the mixture becomes lighter in colour and thick
- place agar-agar in a small sauce pan, which is easy to use when pouring syrup into the bowl
- add water to agar-agar, pour 200g honey on top
- cook the mixture on a low heat, stirring with tiny whisk or spoon
- cook until the mixture starts boiling and becomes translucent, and cook for 2-3min
- pour the syrup while still beating the mixture, make sure all syrup goes into the bowl, it is easier to do when pouring the syrup on the internal wall of the bowl
- continue beating for 2-3min, until all the ingredients are fully combined and the mixture is homogenous
- quickly pour still warm mixture into prepared tray
- make the surface even and level (best done with a medium size palette knife)
- let the mixture set for at least 3 hours
- sprinkle coconut flour on the surface and gently rub it in
- line chopping board with baking paper, dust it with coconut flour
- separate the sides of the slab from baking tray with silicone mini spatula and turn over pastila on baking paper
- carefully peel baking paper, repeat the step of dusting and rubbing the surface with coconut flour
- when the surface becomes dry, pastila is ready to be cut
- I like to cut it into 2×6 cm, but any shape or size you like is fine
- use pizza cutter for clean and precise cuts
- dip all freshly cut surfaces in coconut flour, gently rub it in, shake the excess off
- place pastila pieces on a wire rack and allow to dry in well ventilated environment overnight
Enjoy an intense plum taste with unmistaken raw honey flavour. Half of the honey used in this recipe remains unheated, with all properties of raw honey intact.