I'm a sucker for food in miniature. Dollhouse-proportioned fruits and vegetables, bite-sized hors d'oeuvres, even travel-sized product samples are irresistible to me in their adorable, tiny packaging. If, like me, you think fun size is better than full, then Sprout Kraut—Brussels sprouts prepared like sauerkraut—is the fermented pickle for you. Keep reading »
Caramel apples are one of the most fun foods I can imagine. The bright, sweet, autumnal bite of my favorite seasonal fruit is wrapped in a decadent robe of creamy caramel, unctuous and deep. Now imagine an apple butter created with that taste in mind: Apples roasted until they are soft and caramelized, combined with a dairy-rich caramel sauce to distill the same flavor into a jar, ready to top a crusty baguette, fill homemade toaster tarts, or eat by the delicious spoonful—without the sticky faces or fingers you might remember from childhood carnivals or trick-or-treating. Keep reading »
Achar, acar, achara, atsara, atchara—they’re all different names for the same thing. This humble pickle, made in Southeast Asia and parts of the Middle East, is a brisk, full-bodied alternative to the common dill spear—however it’s spelled. What elevates achar above the standard pickle is that it's made with a rempah, or spice paste, as the brine that lends flavor and texture to its characteristic mixture of vegetables. I love achars because they are surprising, riddled with a complex tango of sweetness, sourness, and spice, and a firmly crunchy texture that makes the common vegetable side salad or American-style pickle feel dull. Keep reading and get the recipe »
Ketchup: when you hear the word, you know instantly what we're talking about. It's a sweet and tangy, thick and glossy condiment made from tomatoes. And though there’s more variety in ketchup now than there’s been in years (stalwarts Heinz and Hunt’s still dominate the market, but artisanal brands like Sir Kensington, First Field, and Portland Ketchup are making inroads), they all have that orange-red fruit in common. Keep reading »
Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits for jam-making: Sweet and easy to work with, they produce a gorgeous, purple-hued preserve with a fresh fruit flavor that reminds me of summer all year long. Fortunately for the home-canner, blueberries have enough pectin to produce a good set on their own; the berries burst when boiled, releasing their juice and creating a syrup which sets into a beautiful, spoonable jam. Keep reading »
At the intersection of jam and candied fruit lies murabba, a vibrant spiced preserve of North Indian and Arabic origin. Most commonly made from amla (Indian gooseberries), murabba can be made from nearly anything grown in your garden—in the magical cure of a heavy syrup brightened with lemon juice, any sort of fruit or vegetable undergoes a transformation into a complex, refreshing preserve with a rich sweetness. And the best murabbas are accented with a bit of cardamom, saffron, rosewater, or some combination thereof, giving each bite a fresh and lively floral allure. Keep reading »
During my childhood, my parents had a friend who gave the most incredible holiday treat bags each year. She always included frosted sugar cookies, homemade caramels, chocolate candies and giant bags of deeply roasted Chex Mix. We looked forward to Eleanor's delivery every year. Since I reached adulthood, I've tried to establish a similar tradition of edible gifts for my family and close friends. Though the list changes each year, the recipes that follow are some of my current favorites for holiday giving. —Marisa McClellan, author of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round
Cookbook author and preserving enthusiast Karen Solomon makes use of the undersung Asian pear with a sweet-tart recipe for pickled Asian Pears with Lemon—perfect for late fall cheese plates, cocktails, and more.