• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

trillium

Preserving Summer

328 posts in this topic

My most recent -- this past week -- was sour cherry-ginger

That's so funny — I made a sour cherry pie and decided on ginger ice cream to accompany it. Excellent flavor combination, isn't it?


Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that recipe!

Cooking anything without recipes demands a high tolerance for failure. Or at least for keeping a straight face when telling other people that that's really how it's supposed to turn out. :wink:

But I would never, ever, ever try to bake without a recipe. I'm not that good a chemist.

edit to add: Liz, I have yet to find any fruit that does not go well with ginger. YUM!!!


Edited by Suzanne F (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dare I admit that I don't use recipes? I just take whatever fruit I've got, add about 75 to 80% sugar, and whatever else I feel like adding, and boil it until it seems done. Seal in jars and store in the fridge, so it keeps for years. (I just checked, and we are FINALLY on the last bit of gooseberry jam, which celebrates its 9th birthday tomorrow! :shock: ) I've also got some currant-ginger from 3 years ago. They might crystalize a bit, but they don't go bad. (The only one I ever had get fuzzy was a microwave-cooked plum jam. Take that as a warning.)

My most recent -- this past week -- was sour cherry-ginger: a little over 4 pounds of pitted cherries, about 3 1/2 pounds of sugar, 4 "thumbs" of ginger grated in, and a splash of lemon juice. It's a little loose even after 45 minutes of boiling (very juicy cherries), but so what? Used some in cream-cheese and jelly sandwiches yesterday, and it's good. :biggrin:

In spite of what I said at the start -- Kayaksoup, how do you make the ginger marmalade? We love that stuff!

You are brave! :biggrin:

Cherries are very low on pectin and will be a very soft set which is why sometimes you'll see recipes calling for the addition of apples.

After awhile of making jellies and jams you gain enough confidence and experience to go without a recipe, but I really had questions about some more of the exotic stuff and things I never thought could be done. (Praline Milk Jam made with whole milk!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paraphrased from A Passion for Preserves -- Ginger Marmalade

Makes about 4 cups

3 pounds tart apples

2 cups water

8 ounces Canton ginger

sugar

Coarsely chop apples, skins cores and all. Simmer in the water until thick and pulpy, then strain overnight through a jelly bag.

The next day, add finely chopped ginger into the extracted apple juice and measure 1 cup of sugar per cup of the ginger-apple juice. Combine and bring to a boil stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil rapidly for about 10 minutes, or until set.

Remove from heat and jar.

Seal with your preferred method -- either immediately turning jars upside down or waterbath.

I understand it is an excellent accompanyment as a dipping sauce for shrimp tempura. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I've started White Peach and Lemon Verbena jam from Ferber's book. It smells heavenly. The white peaches were gorgeous too. I think I'll go back to the market and grab a few more and a bottle of prosecco. (all fruit in my household have the danger of never making it beyond breakfast or for cocktails... :raz: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night I made 5 half-pints of red currant jelly and 1 pint of pickled sour cherries. All of the recipes came out of Chez Panisse Fruits. I found the red currant jelly in that book much less fussy then Ms. Ferber's and since it is so goddamn hot right now, less fussy is good. The leftovers and skimmings tasted great on toast this morning. I had no idea red currant jelly actually had a nice taste. I'd only ever had the store bought kind and I always wondered why people would use it to wreck a perfectly good fruit tart. The sour cherry pickles were touted as being "irresistable" when offered with charcuterie. I intend to try out the claim when I start making terrines again in the fall. I hope I'm not sorry I didn't brandy more, but the only pint I did used up the last of the brandy! The rest of the sour cherries got mashed with some sugar to be turned into bounce after they do a little fermenting on their own.

regards,

trillium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trillium, I made red currant jelly last week and was also pleasantly surprised that it actually had flavour! Now I just need to find a good recipe for Cumberland sauce.....


< Linda >

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chez Panisse Fruits has a translation of some important food guy's recipe for Cumberland Sauce... maybe Brillat Savarin? If I remember I'll try to post it.

More on red currants, my German buddy stopped by and was eating the left over bits of red and black currant jellies sitting out in the kitchen. He's asked me to get him some red currants this weekend so he can make his grandmother's version of "red grits". I'm blanking on the actual German name for this. Anyway, for those that have too many currants, it might be something to check out.

regards,

trillium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks in part to this thread, I have checked out of my local library both The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving and Mes Confitures.

I'm having fun with both; tonight was my first time out with Ms. Ferber-- I made her Black Currant Jelly, which couldn't be simpler. And it tastes fantastic. But I have a question: do y'all really think her canning instructions are sufficient? She instructs the reader to put the empty jars in boiling water for a couple minutes, then fill them up to the very top (!) while hot, cover the jars, and flip them upside down. That's it, no room left for air, and no boiling again in the water bath.

I chickened out tonight, and disregarded Ms. Ferber's method. I left the conventional air space in my jars and boiled them after they were filled. But I'm curious as to what you folks think.


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although i have yet to secure myself a copy of Ferber's book, I would say that I could not do preserves without a water bath. I would spend the rest of their shelf life obsessing over wether they would last or not :wink:


< Linda >

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do a water bath on most things as long as they are sufficiently acid, jams, jellies, preserves.

I may use the steam canner for fruit butters, applesauce, pickles, marinara sauce, especially in larger containers

Some things I process in the pressure canner because I know they can be a problem.

Years ago I used to use paraffin on jellies and jams and never had a problem, however the stuff is horribly flammable and you have to have the inside rim of the jelly glass absolutely clean or the paraffin will not made a good seal and will allow mold spores to invade. Jars and lids are relatively inexpensive (unless one goes for the fancy French imports) that it is better to spend a little more money and be safe.

I have both the book by Ferber and the one by Langeland, as well as quite a few others, and do use some their recipes for ideas.

Some of my old books have more information about preserving vegetables and meats. However I do not do as much of those as I used to do.

I still can jugged hare and mincemeat with meat (actually I use ground jerky) and spiced potted meat, venison or duck, which is like a paté. Those have to be processed in the pressure cooker.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the first time i saw my boss' family each jam/preserves in france i was very apprehensive about eating something that had not been pasteurised in a water bath.

i now see little reason to use the water bath method and will continue to eat jam/preserves processed as such. if it's moldy or off i toss it but i haven't had any problems.

stay tuned for a review of her class at the fps last week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
More on red currants, my German buddy stopped by and was eating the left over bits of red and black currant jellies sitting out in the kitchen. He's asked me to get him some red currants this weekend so he can make his grandmother's version of "red grits". I'm blanking on the actual German name for this. Anyway, for those that have too many currants, it might be something to check out.

regards,

trillium

Maybe you're thinking of "Rote Grutze" (umlaut over the 'u') ?

A kind of pudding-like dish with red currants and raspberries? I think I have a recipe for this somewhere but can't remember where... That is a good idea for using red currants though for those lucky enough to have them!


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd really like to try making a conserve, with nuts added to my fruit. Does anyone have any experience with that, or recipes to pass on? I'm up to my elbows in sour cherries at the moment, and would love to do something with them -- sour cherry conserve with ginger and hazelnuts, maybe? -- but the market also has organic gooseberries and currants that are calling my name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread inspired me to get both the Christine Ferber book and A Passion for Preserves (I haven't gone through it yet, but now I can hardly wait after Bean's raving). First I made the apple jelly using the fallen green apples from my tree (I had to cook it a second time as it didn't set at first--this is the first time I've made preserves using homemade pectin). Very cool, although mine is a little cloudy due to impatience.

Now so far I've made the strawberry with mint & black pepper, strawberry & pinot noir, and the strawberry and raspberry. The flavor of all are out of this world, not tooth-jarringly sweet like some preserves. They all have a much more complex flavor than any I've ever made. Right now I have white cherries macerating for the white cherry and raspberry preserves and I have a tree full of sour cherries and a gooseberry-laden bush I need to tackle this weekend. Unfortunately my red currant is a little light this year, so I'll have to see if I can supplement with some farmers' market fruit.

I was wary of her instructions to fill to rim and and upend the jars, so I went with the 5-minute hot water bath. I'm sure her method is safe too, but it wasn't any more work to just do the water bath since I already had boiling water from sterilizing the jars (plus, it's the recommended method in my go-to-when-I-want-to-understand-the-whole-process book Putting Food By).

One possible problem I have had with Ferber's preserves: they are a little more sticky than ones I have made using pouches of pectin. I boiled until they reached 221 on my candy thermometer. Is this just a function of the natural pectin or am I doing something wrong? No complaints as far as flavor; the texture is just different than I'm used to.


Julie Layne

"...a good little eater."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd really like to try making a conserve, with nuts added to my fruit.  Does anyone have any experience with that, or recipes to pass on?  I'm up to my elbows in sour cherries at the moment, and would love to do something with them -- sour cherry conserve with ginger and hazelnuts, maybe?  -- but the market also has organic gooseberries and currants that are calling my name.

I use nuts in several conserves. Pecans or pistachios in cranberry conserve is the most popular with my friends.

Chestnuts in apple/greengage jam.

Apricot/almond is a wonderful combination. Or peach/almond.

You can actually cook up a small batch in the microwave in a pyrex measure to get a taste of how a conserve will turn out. I do it all the time, takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of fruit, cooking the fruit in 2 minute intervals. I add the nuts about 2/3 rds of the way through the process.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the first time i saw my boss' family each jam/preserves in france i was very apprehensive about eating something that had not been pasteurised in a water bath. 

i now see little reason to use the water bath method and will continue to eat jam/preserves processed as such. if it's moldy or off i toss it but i haven't had any problems.

stay tuned for a review of her class at the fps last week.

With the amount of sugar used in the recipes (80% by weight ) in my experience mold is really the only thing you really have to worry about. I'm sure that American canning regulations may have a different take, but for some things they tend to err on the side of super, super cautious. It's like those FDA regs that ban fresh unpasteurized cheese (but we see more listeria cases from things like baloney, hotdogs and pasteurized cheese then some countries that eat fresh raw milk cheeses!) or tell you to cook your fowls until they are inedible and dry. I think you have to educate yourself about the risk involved and look at the data and then decide what you're personally comfortable with.

They way I look at it, water boils at 212 F, you've sterilized the jars and lids, you're bringing your jam to 221 F and putting it directly into the the sterilized jars. I fail to see how boiling them in water for another 10 minutes is going to accomplish anything, but if it makes you sleep better at night, then you should do it.

regards,

trillium

edit because I can't spell baloney


Edited by trillium (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One possible problem I have had with Ferber's preserves: they are a little more sticky than ones I have made using pouches of pectin. I boiled until they reached 221 on my candy thermometer. Is this just a function of the natural pectin or am I doing something wrong? No complaints as far as flavor; the texture is just different than I'm used to.

I think it's just the style of jams. I'm guessing the stickiness is from the natural pectin, the amount of sugar used, and the temp you bring it to. It's more like what we would call preserves, I think. People that grew up on pectin pouch jam (like me) find it strange at first, but people that didn't (like a lot of my European friends) find the super-gelled texture of home-made American style jams odd. If you really don't like the texture you can always use the flavor combinations with your favorite pouches of pectin. I have a feeling the flavors will not be quite as clear, but I'm sure the jam would still be good.

regards,

trillium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd really like to try making a conserve, with nuts added to my fruit. Does anyone have any experience with that, or recipes to pass on? I'm up to my elbows in sour cherries at the moment, and would love to do something with them -- sour cherry conserve with ginger and hazelnuts, maybe? -- but the market also has organic gooseberries and currants that are calling my name.

Almonds and cherries are a classic combination too. I think the Ferber book has one with sour cherries, slivered almonds and dried rose petals. It looks lovely in the book. If you don't like her method of flavoring the confiture with pits, you can roast the pit stones first to kill the enzyme in the pits that converts the amygdalin to cyanide. I believe that is what the cautionary note in the American edition of the book suggests.

regards,

trillium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
More on red currants, my German buddy stopped by and was eating the left over bits of red and black currant jellies sitting out in the kitchen.  He's asked me to get him some red currants this weekend so he can make his grandmother's version of "red grits".  I'm blanking on the actual German name for this.  Anyway, for those that have too many currants, it might be something to check out.

regards,

trillium

Maybe you're thinking of "Rote Grutze" (umlaut over the 'u') ?

A kind of pudding-like dish with red currants and raspberries? I think I have a recipe for this somewhere but can't remember where... That is a good idea for using red currants though for those lucky enough to have them!

Yes! That's the name. You thicken the juice of currants and raspberries slightly with a starch to make a kind of thin jelly type pudding. It sounds very tasty and light, I think it would be especially nice in hot weather.

regards,

trillium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that Ferber's book is more for the experienced jam/jelly maker and perhaps something was lost in the translation/intention when she states to fill up the jars.

For years I've skipped the water bath, unless it is absolutely specified (like with tomatoes) and do the inversion method, without problem.

As Frederica Langeland's book points out:

Not many jams require a boiling water bath, as they almost all require more than 10 minutes of processing by the open kettle method.  However if your peace of mind requires this step, if the jam was processed for less than 10 minutes, or if it has tomatoes in it, here's how: ....

I'm planning to try: (the standouts are coming to mind, but am going to some "plain" ones too -- like raspberry, etc.)

strawberry, pepper and mint (how is it???!??!)

pineapple, vanilla and rosemary

blueberry and pinot noir

**(any recommendations for a pinot? I hate how sometimes they have that "barnyard" earthy taste, so I'm weary, but have enjoyed several but cannot remember the vineyard or labels - doh!)

praline milk jam (it seems so foreign to me I must try it)

I have some white cherries, but not nearly enough to do the white cherry raspberry combo. :angry: I'll have to check my market and/or consider munching them down as they are for snacking.

and from Langeland's Passion for Preserves:

garlic-herb marmalade

I also paged through Preserving by Oded Schwartz and will be doing a pineapple-lychee jam beause I have just enough fresh lychees on hand.

I have three other preserving books, one I cannot locate and two rather standard sorts from Ball I inherited from my dear grandmother. Thankfully there still is much more summer! :biggrin:

Oh, currently I'm using a heavy bottomed, stainless stock pan and am considering a copper preserving pan. Who is using one of those? Is it worth it? I know it is a bit of a splurge, but why not have a pretty toy for when I enjoy doing preserves as much as I do? (without having gone to the likes of Sur La Table yet to get a peek at a pricetag as of yet....)

Thanks. I look forward to any comments or suggestions. :cool:

grrrr. typos


Edited by beans (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe that Ferber's book is more for the experienced jam/jelly maker and perhaps something was lost in the translation/intention when she states to fill up the jars.

(snip)

Oh, currently I'm using a heavy bottomed, stainless stock pan and am considering a copper preserving pan.  Who is using one of those?  Is it worth it?  I know it is a bit of a splurge, but why not have a pretty toy for when I enjoy doing preserves as much as I do?  (without having gone to the likes of Sur La Table yet to get a peek at a pricetag as of yet....)

Thanks.  I look forward to any comments or suggestions.  :cool:

grrrr.  typos

Her recipes were written for those gasket and clip type jars too, weren't they? Not the ring and lid types we use on this side of the pond.

I've been using my Le Creuset french oven to make the jams, because I don't have to worry about sticking, but I was eyeing the copper pots too! I've been looking at the one offered by Professional Cutlery Direct, which tends to have better prices then Surly Table. But since the French oven is working so well I can't really justify it the $60. What I would really like to find is a skimmer like the one she has a photo of, I find it really frustrating to use what I'm using (a slotted spoon), a flatter bigger skimmer would work better.

regards,

trillium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skimmer yes! I'm on the hunt for a better skimmer. :smile:

If I know I'm not going to give away the jam and have it myself for my morning usual of a english muffin/toasted bread/crumpet, I tend not to worry too much if a little bit of bubbly foam is there.

I think I'll suggest the pan to my mother for a future gift idea, but I'll stick to my stainless, as it hasn't failed me yet. I just like the angled sides of those copper pans.

I've seen those pricey Weck's at W-S and SLT and though maybe I might pick up half a dozen. Maybe not. They are attractive but have found the old mason/Ball jars to be life long reliables at a more economical price. I guess its fun to eye all of the goodies, but why fix it if it isn't broken?

I found some more Ranier cherries and picked up some beautiful raspberries. I have just enough time to get them started and finish it tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a flat of strawberries in the fridge to make freezer jam this weekend. :biggrin:

I will be canning spiced blueberries, spiced peaches, vidalia onion relish, and the pear relish in Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis's book.

Priscilla very kindly sent me a spare copy of Fine Preserving by Catherine Plagemann this past spring. Lovely book. I also have guajolote to thank for his recommendation of The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich which is excellent.


Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any of you cats have any secrets when it comes to peeling peaches for preserving? I put some in boiling water for a minute, but found the skin still quite firmly stuck to the peaches. Then I put them back in for a couple more minutes, and still couldn't peel them without mangling them.

I think my peaches were underripe. Is this the source of my difficulty?


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.