You may all condemn me to the pits of hell for lack of blogging.
What’s even worse is that I’ve been nominated for another award (which I will talk about in another post) and I feel I don’t even deserve it! Why should I be given an award for something I do when I haven’t even been doing it!?
Or we can just pretend that I’ve been posting all along and it’s just a figment of your imagination. 🙂
So today’s post is for those of you who might want to dabble a bit in doing your own preserving. As you know, I do a good bit of that myself, so thought I’d share today’s culinary adventure with you.
Yesterday I made Damson Vanilla Cheese which is just a concentrated puree and it comes out so thick that you can actually cut it. It goes well with sharp cheese and meats such as lamb, duck or other game meats. In case you don’t know, damsons are very small plums, about the size of olives.
Today I started making Cherry Brandy Preserves. I say started as it’s a two-step process I like to do sometimes. In fact, with the method I’m using, it should really be called a ‘Conserve’ and not a ‘Preserve.’
With preserves, the cleaned and prepared fruit is added to the pan and cooked a bit to break it down and then the sugar is added and continued to cook. A conserve is made differently, although it can have the same ingredients.
With a conserve, the fruit is put into a bowl with the sugar and allowed to sit for several hours or overnight which lets the juices flow from the fruit. This allows the fruit to stay whole or in the same shape as they were cut. By tomorrow morning I’ll have a bowl of cherries sitting in a thick, sugary syrup of its own juices.
I like to use a ratio of 65% to 75% sugar to fruit to be on the safe side to ensure that it will keep well. My jars are sealed properly but once they’re open and in the fridge, there’s still that chance of it going off if there isn’t enough sugar in the mix. A lower amount of sugar can be risky and as I sell to the public, I can’t take that chance.
I’ll give you the rest of the procedure in my next post. Until then….