Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jammin' Apricots Part 2

"When I was growing up, canning was for old folks and cranky separatists -- oh, and for my parents..." 

That line sold me on Liana Krissoff's Canning for a New Generation. Of course, there's more: I like her tone (instructive but not pedantic); the book is organized seasonally to take advantage of your garden, local farmers' markets, neighbors' trees, green spaces in town, etc.; you might have to make a trip an ethnic market (in this town, no such thing: Amazon Prime is my friend); and she includes recipes using the canned goods (How 'bout jerk chicken made from your own mango and peach habanero hot sauce?).

We've just begun to explore this book and have had a promising start. Of the 41 pints of apricot-y goodness we produced last weekend, five of them were preserves -- our first recipe from Krissoff.  

pot scrapings, yum

You can see the end product in the photo above: dark orange, nicely gelled (no pectin) with little bits of black...okay, maybe the addition of whole vanilla beans with seeds isn't for everyone. (We're still doing double-takes; you see the preserves next to the jam and think "How did I miss that brown spot..." before the brain registers that it's a vanilla bean in the jar.) The taste is of well-cooked apricots, rich with a strong vanilla flavor; the wine adds a nice sublte floral note (we had a Mosel Riesling open so it was 1/2 cup for the pot, 1/2 cup for the cook). 

promising marriage of apricots, wine, vanilla beans and sugar

This recipe will help so-so apricots in their aspiration to deliciousness but might not be the best for fruit at its flavor peak, when capturing the fresh taste is part why you're canning in the first place. The preserves are a little heavy-tasting for use on toast or biscuits but I bet it will be an awesome ingredient in sauce for duck, or to top ice cream. Oh, the possibilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment