This recipe is also known as a Fruit Paste Confection and is easily prepared with unflavored granulated gelatin  *  It usually takes 2 Tbsp of gelatin (one envelope) to jell a cup of cooked fruit paste to the proper consistency  *  Take a 15 oz can of halved apricots in syrup and separate the apricots from the syrup  * reserve the apricots on the side  *  Pour the syrup (about 2/3 cup) into a medium sauce pan  *  Add twelve dried apricots and bring to a boil  *  Lower temperature and cook for about 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the apricots are just moist  *  Transfer apricots to a food processor and add the reserved canned apricots  *  Add a 12oz jar of apricot preserve and 1/2 cup of sweetener such as stevia  *  Process for 10 to 20 seconds or until the mixture is smooth  *  Transfer the mix to a sturdy saucepan and bring to a boil – stirring constantly with a spatula  * the mixture will stick and scorch if  not stirred as it comes to a boil  *  Stir with a spatula every minute or so after it boils  *  Cook for 8 to 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavor  *  While it is cooking – Pour 1/3 cup of cold water into a small glass bowl  *  Sprinkle 2 envelopes (4 Tbsp) of plain gelatin on top and let it sink into the water and get thoroughly moistened by it with no white spots visible  *  This is also a good time to add a festive food coloring (I like red or green)  *   Microwave for 20 seconds until the gelatin is melted and stir it into the hot apricot mixture  * it should produce about 2 1/2 cups of fruit puree  * Pour the puree into a lightly oiled rectangular loaf pan – lined with a strip of waxed parchment paper  *  the paper should be lightly oiled underneath and have the ends extend beyond  the pan to help when un-molding the Petrified Fruit Paste from the pan  *  The Fruit Paste should be about 3/4 inch thick  *  Let it cool for a couple of hours at room temperature – then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight  *  The following day un-mold the Petrified Fruit Paste in one block onto a sheet of plastic wrap using the paper liner in the pan to help lift it out  *  Wrap it thoroughly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use  *  When ready to serve cut the paste into 1 1/4 inch wide strips and then into triangles or squares so you have about two or three dozen pieces  *  Place about 1/2 cup of stevia sweetener in a bowl and roll the jellies in it until they are coated on all sides  *  Arrange on a serving plate or holiday platter and serve – or –  leave somewhere so that guests can help themselves  *   Have a happy holiday season – but try not to get petrified on these festive treats

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