I recently attended a seminar on the science behind jamming with Harold McGee, celebrated author of On Food and Cooking. He talked about the role calcium can play in linking pectin molecules, the different ways acids react in a recipe, and other topics I thoroughly and happily geek out on. One thing he said resonated on a deeper level: now is a time when we can learn from traditional recipes and ways of doing things, but also use available tools to innovate, experiment, and maybe come up with something better. He was talking about science, but I think the same could be said for simple recipe creation.
Take our Apple & Almond Conserve*, for instance. This conserve is based on an ancient recipe for Charoset, a traditional food my siblings and I helped prepare each Passover. Charoset reminds me of trying to peel the entire apple in one fell swoop and happily chomping on the slivers when I failed to do so. All while singing, arguing, pulling my sister’s hair, and doing other things kids do when they are supposed to be helping their mother prepare a holiday meal.
Traditional Charoset of the type my family made isn’t cooked. Apples, walnuts and cinnamon are whirled through a food processor and a splash of red wine is added at the end to bring all the flavors together. Our Apple & Almond Conserve breaks from this tradition because it is cooked into a chunky, but spreadable consistency. It’s a bit more California because we used Almonds and by adding white grapes instead of red wine we’ve created an interesting blend of textures and tastes.
My favorite ways to use our Apple & Almond Conserve? Scooping a dollop on my morning yogurt or on my evening vanilla bean ice cream or making a AB&A (Almond Butter and Apple & Almond Conserve sandwich). But, honestly, this is one of those “eat it by the spoonful” products. Something about cinnamon and apples together, the combination is heart-warming all year long.
Stop by our Ferry Building storethis Thursday, June 7th from 11am until 1pm to taste this new take on tradition. Decide for yourself if I achieved the “maybe come up with something better” part of Harold’s speech. But please keep that decision a secret. We wouldn’t want to upset those that came before us.
*Apple Almond Conserve is one of our small-batch preserves, exclusively available in our Ferry Building shop. If you'd like us to send you a jar, please give us a call in the shop: 415-291-7224.