The urge to preserve overcomes me every year around this time. It’s probably some primal holdover, or perhaps the indelible imprint of growing up on a farm. Whatever it is, come late summer, my soul is not satisfied until cupboard and freezer are bursting with provisions for the winter.
I usually avoid making jam, as I’ve found commercial products that far surpass my efforts, but my attention was captured with The Art Of Preserving, one of Williams-Sonoma’s cookbooks. I love the sour/sweet/spicy combination of chutney, especially when paired with cheese. I made a batch of Stone-Fruit chutney, containing cherries, plums and peaches. The hints of orange zest, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and golden balsamic vinegar beckon beguilingly through the rich fruit flavours, and enhance the creaminess of ripe brie and smoked cheddar cheese.
I’m going to try the Pear & Dried Fruit Conserve next, and Cornichons, if I can get my hands on some tiny cucumbers. Stay tuned!