Perfect Persimmon Pudding

What ho! Is that a chocolate torte? Why, no! It’s a persimmon pudding, a rare and exquisite dessert rarely seen outside of West Virginia, Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Southern Illinois. Native persimmons don’t travel well, so you’re unlikely to encounter a persimmon pudding far from where the fruit grows.

OK: Exquisite might be a bit much. [...]

A Peach Chutney for Picnics

With the gorgeous fall weather we’ve been having, shouldn’t the chutney get to go outside, too? Having simmered on the stove for more than two hours, I thought it deserved a moment of sunshine before being banished to a dark corner of the basement. Next time it sees the light of day it will be [...]

U-Pick Bliss

Picking fruit is a glorious way to spend a day. Picking fruit with friends is even better. Last Friday Kate (on the left) from The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking and her friend Liz came down from Brooklyn to join me (on the right) at Mood’s, my preferred berry-picking location. (I like how the very [...]

Blueberry Pucker Conserve

This little experiment for the June Can Jam was one of the only times that I’ve taken a spoonful of preserves and thought, “By God! I’ve got it!” This is a mixture of blueberries, apricots, lemons, and walnuts, and it’s just about perfect. It’s a “conserve” rather than a “jam” or a “marmalade” in that [...]

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I have no idea why, but I’ve been on a total pie kick this summer. This is the second strawberry rhubarb pie I’ve made, plus a cherry pie for a picnic. Perhaps I’ll look back fondly on the summer of 2010 as the summer of pie?

I usually use Joy of Cooking as a reference for [...]

Rhubarb Compote

Sorry, folks, no pictures. This month’s can jam gave me an excuse to do two of my favorite things: eat stuff from the freezer and experiment with rhubarb. Everybody loves strawberries and rhubarb together, right? And since strawberry season has already started, it’s time to clear out the rest of the berries from the freezer, [...]

Dried Papaya

I like papayas. They remind me of the Dominican Republic, where I spent a week two years ago sitting on the beach, drinking rum cocktails, and watching people kite surf. (No kite surfing for me, thanks. I like my neck.) Here in West Philly, where we’re blessed with a large immigrant population, you can find [...]

Applesauce vs. Applesauce

Last year, you may recall, I made a lot of applesauce. When I had time, I canned it; when I was lazy, I just stuck it in the freezer. Nine months later, we’ve been eating lots of each. The results?

No contest.

The canned applesacue is sooooo much better than the frozen. It has excellent texture, a [...]

Brandied Pears

Like regular canned pears, only drunk.

Brandied Pears

5 pounds ripe, yet firm, pears
Sugar syrup, at your preferred level of sweetness (I like 1 sugar: 2 water)
Several cups brandy

1) Put on a pot for a boiling water bath and sterilize your jars. I used 2 quarts and 2 pints. Life will be easier if you use wide-mouth [...]

Peach Sorbet

A spectacularly easy peach sorbet, made from homemade canned peaches. Note that this will only work if you canned your peaches in syrup—if you canned them in water, you’ll need to add at least a cup of sugar.

Peach Sorbet from Homemade Canned Peaches

2 pints or 1 quart canned peaches in syrup
1 T rum, brandy, or [...]

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