Edible Monterey Bay

THE PRESERVATIONIST

APPLE BUTTER

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARGAUX GIBBONS

A no fuss way to make this old-timey treat and fill your home with the aroma of fall


Fruit butters are created by layers of sweet, sour, tart and caramel flavors. This usually means the addition of some kind of sweetener and/or vinegar. The nice thing about fruit butters is that you can use any type of sweetener, as they will turn shades of brown anyway unlike jams, which we try to keep bright. So maple syrup, rapadura, coconut sugar and date sugar all can be used. It is a fun place to experiment.

The flavor of apple butter is such a classic that it can bring one back to a different time and place. When I first started making it, I understood why small towns … Read More

PEAR BUTTER

Pear butter differentiates itself from other fruit butters with its texture. Pears have a naturally gritty quality to them that gives this butter a pleasant chewiness. Pears also have a tendency to develop a glossy sheen when cooked down into a butter, which looks very appetizing. I add maple syrup to this butter instead of cane sugar as it adds depth to the pears, and we are not concerned about the dark color since fruit butters always turn brown due to the carmelized sugars.

Pear butter should be made the same way as apple butter and is perfect with a sharp aged Cheddar.

5 pounds pears
1½ cups maple syrup
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine all ingredients in a large pot, cover … Read More

APPLE BUTTER

5 pounds apples, cored and chopped into chunks (no need to peel them)
1½ cups apple cider vinegar
1½ cups maple syrup
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine all ingredients in a large pot, cover and simmer over medium heat on the stovetop for 15 minutes or until apples are very soft. Blend the contents until very smooth, either with a high-powered immersion blender or in a Cuisinart.

Next, transfer the purée into two 15-by-10- inch glass baking dishes, filling them halfway full. Place the baking dishes in the oven and bake until the purée cooks down to about half the volume and the sugars become brown and caramelized. This can take anywhere from 3–5 hours, depending on how juicy the apples were to start, how sweet they … Read More

THE PRESERVATIONIST

10 EASY WAYS TO STOP WASTING FOOD

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARGAUX GIBBONS

Save money and help save the planet with these thrifty tips


Food waste is a huge problem impacting the environment. In fact, reducing food waste is the third most important change we can make in our everyday lives to lower carbon emissions and reverse global warming, according to a worldwide project called Drawdown, which identifies 100 solutions to rapid environmental change. Its top solution is reducing refrigerants and number two is using more wind turbines to generate electricity—things that aren’t nearly as easy to do at home.

The challenge is intimidating and encouraging at the same time. The report finds that globally nearly one-third of food grown or produced goes to waste. In low-income countries, most of the food waste occurs in production, storage and distribution. … Read More

ORANGE CRANBERRY MARMALADE

Perfect for a winter holiday breakfast or brunch

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARGAUX GIBBONS

Fresh winter oranges are such a delight in the deep, cold winter. It is actually a treat to slice oranges for an hour or two while making this recipe, with their fragrance lifting one’s spirits the whole time.

The color, texture and flavor of this marmalade are remarkable. The cranberries maintain their independent structure in the translucent medium of the oranges. They add a rosy glow and delicious tart flavor to balance against the sweetness of the oranges.

The joy of preserving fruits is like hanging out with an old friend in the kitchen. Life is short and time is scarce, but making your own marmalade can be a luxury that we should all afford ourselves. Then you … Read More

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