Ferber Musings

Well, the library wants their copy of Christine Ferber’s Mes Confitures book back. Sad Day.

This book is, unsurprisingly for the French speakers out there, a whole bunch of jam recipes. Which is good, but we don’t eat that much jam. So I have used the book more as flavour combining inspiration. I did make the Quince, Cardamon and Orange Marmalade (p152). Which is to die for. Luckily I have more bottles of quince juice tucked away  so I can make more later in the year.

I used the Pear with Caramel and Spices (p187) as an inspiration for some bottled pears which turned out delightfully.  My tweaks were: replace making caramel/ toffee with a scoop of dark brown sugar when making a spiced syrup with cardamom, star anise and cinnamon. This works equally well with stewed apples and makes for a quick dessert warmed through. This has got me thinking about more of our preserved fruit next year being ready made combos – eg crumble fillings with apples and berries.

Future combos to try:

Orange, Rhubarb and Apple in a 1:3:3 ratio

Apricots with slivered almonds

Apricot, Nectarine and Ginger 5:5:1

Citrus with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves

Apples with raspberries 2:1

Blackberry and Raspberry 1:1

Oranges with gingerbread spice, cinnamon, star anise

Yellow Peach with Orange 1:1

Fig and Pear 2.5:1

Mes Confitures cover


Technique tips for jam making to preserve the sparkling colours and whole fruit

Fruit, lemon juice and sugar are combined and brought to a simmer then immediately put into a bowl, covered and left overnight to macerate in the fridge. Sometimes fruit, lemon juice and sugar are combined and simply left overnight to macerate.  Softer fruit may only be left an hour or so, and is not strained in the next step.

The following day, the mixture is strained and juices are boiled until they reach setting point, fruit is added back in and it is boiled another 5 minutes before bottling.

Pectin is added in the form of Green Apple Jelly. Lemon juice aids setting. Where fruit juices are used (as in the marmalade reference above), strained juice is left to settle overnight so the clearer juice on top can be used. These technique based attention to details result in a stunning looking preserve.

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