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Mes Confitures by Christine Ferber

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I just got the English Version and wondered if anyone had used it and had any tips. I have jammed before, but I would hardly call myself an expert. When making the green apple jelly for pectin, can I use another recipe that does not use green apples, since I do not own an orchard.

She does not give yields with her recipes, but I am guessing it is for just one or two jars?

Any hints and advice from you chowhounds, would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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    La Dolce Vita

    I have her book, too. I recently made the rosehip jam with vanilla. It is an unusual and haunting preserve--absolutely delicious with manchego, instead of the usual quince paste. However, it was very time-consuming, and about two strawberry-baskets worth of rose hips yielded about 9 oz. of jam. That's because rose hips are fibrous and seedy, and you end up straining out all but the fleshiest inner part. If anybody is thinking of making this particular recipe, and wants details of my experience with it (including pointers for making the cleaning of the rosehips easier) email me and I'll be happy to share.

    I can't wait until peaches are in season, because her peach jam recipes look utterly scrumptious--especially the one with lemon verbena.

    3 Replies
    1. re: La Dolce Vita
      fai jay (fai jackson)

      Everything looks amazing. I too am waiting with great anticipation for the summer. I will run to the market for home grown fruit. At the end of July, are the two weeks we get the best wild blueberries in the world. They are from the area called Muskoka in Ontario Canada. If you are ever around here at that time don't miss the treat. Also, Muskoka is our summer holiday area with lots of lakes and cottages. Some nice resorts in the area too. If I wrote Michelin notes, I would say"worth a detour".

      1. re: La Dolce Vita

        I have a bunch of rose hips. If someone could kindly post Christine Ferber's Rose hip jam recipe it will be greatly appreciated.

        1. re: La Dolce Vita

          I have a bunch of rose hips. If you could post a rose hip jam recipe it will be greatly appreciated. thanks

        2. I've used her book several times, with great results. My favorite is the apricot vanilla bean, using local apricots from the farmer's market. I get about 4 small jars.

          2 Replies
          1. re: emily

            I get about the same. I've had nothing but great results. I haven't used any of the green-apple dependent recipes, though. Takes just a bit too much planning ahead. Maybe this year.

            Link: http://seasonalcook.blogspot.com

            1. re: emily

              I'm still using Ferber's method/recipes, but I almost always use significantly less sugar (at least 1/3 less). Made some wonderful boysenberry jam this year based on her Wild Blackberry recipe. Next year I'm hoping to have enough black Persian mulberries from my tree to make jam.

            2. Clotilde on Chocolate and Zucchini has the book and is a fan. She's posted a couple times on her experiences with the recipes.

              Link: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archi...

              1. I have made around 20 of her jams. The yields vary depending upon the recipe; 4 jars to 7 can be expected. Every jam I have made has been exceptional and just for kicks I did a head to head with my old recipe using the same variety of berries, and there was no comparison. I have not made the green apple jelly yet; I plan to this week. If you read through the book, you'll find plenty of recipes that don't call for it. Good luck. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Corrinie

                  When you say 4-7 jars, are you talking pints or half pints?

                2. I haven't followed her recipes so much as her procedure of macerating the fruit and got good results. But I am no expert in this field. Madeleine Bullwinkel's book Gourmet Preserves Chez Madeleine gives two recipes for apple pectin stock. 4 pounds Granny Smith or Jonathan apples plus six cups of water will yield 6-7 cups of apple juice that must be reduced to 3 cups. Using greening apples, you combine 4 pounds of apples and 2 quarts of water. It will yield about 4 cups of pectin stock. As for the yield, it can vary, depending on how much sugar there is in the fruit itself. For jams, which contain fruit pulp as well as juices, the yield may be about one cup of jam for every five ounces of sugar in a recipe. Jellies will yield less and preserves somewhat more. But you can at least start with the sugar as a way of guestimating about how much you will be making. Or go on line and look at the "Pick Your Own" web site information sheet on making jam and jelly. It provides a lot of information you can compare other recipes against.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Father Kitchen

                    I'm attempting green apple jelly for Ferber pear recipe using granny smith (my go to farmers market guys are looking at me like I just dropped in from Jupiter when I ask for un ripe green apples). I read somewhere that it might be best to just use the cores and skins, less of the apple 'meat'. Does anyone have experience with Christine Ferber's green apple using granny smith? Father Kitchen, thoughts on sugar on your post above? Thank you!

                    1. re: Dickensd

                      Bullwinkel does not use sugar in her apple pectin stock. The recipe calls for 4 pounds of Granny Smith apples and six cups of water. Stem the apples and coarsely chop everything else. Place in 5 quart heavy non reactive pot.Pour in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer partly covered for 45 minutes. Strain the mash through damp cheesecloth for 3 hours or overnight. You should get 6 to 7 cups of juice. Reduce the juice to 3 cups. Refrigerated, it will keep up to 2 weeks. You can freeze it or can it. No sugar is involved. You should have sufficient pectin concentrated in the stock to use it as the only pectin additive. In her master recipe for 1 jelly--wine having no pectin--3 1/2 cups of wine and 3 cups of sugar will jell with 1 1/2 cups of the pectin stock. Obviously any fruit with a moderate amount of pectin already in it, will require less pectin stock. I'll see if I can find the link for testing juice for the pectin in it. It involves mixing a small quantity with alcohol, and depending on how much it clumps you can judge the pectin concentration. Ah, here is one source. www.pickyourown.org/pectin.htm You can also find it on the wikihow site.

                  2. Thinking of trying the pear and chocolate recipie from this book so figured I'd dig up this thread and see if anyone else has made it and what you thought. Thanks!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: geminigirl

                      I haven't made the pear and chocolate, but I have made the banana and chocolate. It turned out like a very thick banana-flavored chocolate sauce. Not really what I was expecting, but it was pretty good stirred into yogurt.

                      1. re: emily

                        Thanks for the feedback. I'm just having a hard time imagining the consistency. I'm thinking it will have a bit more texture with the pears...I may give it a try just because it sounds so interesting.

                        1. re: geminigirl

                          People were raving about her raspberry and chocolate iirc. I've wondered about the pear/chocolate too. The flavor of pears seems very delicate in preserves - I've had trouble seeing them with chocolate.

                          Take one on for the team?!

                    2. I've used grated, unripe apples to help set plum jam before, with so-so results. It does work, but still not a very firm set. After reading Father Kitchen's explanation of the reduced apple juice that your author uses to make her products set, I see what she's trying to do.
                      --pectin develops slowly in the apple, the breaks down over time. Pick the apple too early or leave it too late and you might be wasting your time. A normally ripe apple will still have plenty of pectin present.
                      --no matter which apple you use, the pectin level is going to vary, even from year to year. You could use any apple from the store,(or crabapples!) juice them and reduce it and get a decent amount of pectin in the liquid. You'll still have to do a freezer check to see if the jam will set.
                      --don't rule out powder or liquid pectin. They are easy to use and get their pectin from fruit as well. Downside is that they usually require a LOT of sugar. Often I use the package, sweeten to MY liking, and tolerate the softer set.
                      --Pomona's Universal pectin uses calcium and special pectin to set the fruit with less sugar.
                      --I've always had better success with small batches as opposed to large. The water evaporates more quickly from a small batch.
                      --Some "no-pectin" old school recipes use a candy thermometer and you simply boil the fruit to a certain temperature, by which time the fruit is usually seriously overcooked and you have died of boredom.

                      Jams and jellies are as much art as science. I'd check the Pick Your Own site as well as the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

                      1. How green are the apples you all are using for her pectin recipe. I completely forgot about it and didn't pick any green apples off my tree. They are still underripe, my husband tried one today. She says preferably pick them in the beginning of July before they begin to ripen though. I don't want to waste good fruit if there won't be enough pectin at this stage.