Introducing the newest addition to our product line of Spreadable Fruits— Strawberry Kiwi Ginger— it's on the shelves and to say the least, I am thrilled over the taste and color. You all know it takes time to develop good recipes and I am definitely not someone who just pops out a perfect recipe on the first go around. Our kettles are very large and a single product run can range from 600 to 900 jars at a time, depending on the flavor and the types of fruit we are using. Combining fruits is not random, it is a carefully thought out process. It is not just about the taste, its about the chemistry and how fruits interact and react with one another. I do not use pectin to thicken my jams. I depend on the amount of acidity in the fruit combined with the right amount of sugar, as well as the natural pectin present. This varies depending on which fruits your are cooking. When everything is in balance you will get a perfect gel. And believe me, this can be pretty tricky. This combination of strawberries and kiwi is a great marriage—and the crystallized ginger takes it to the next level with its signature little bite. I eat it on our sourdough bread with a smear of soft butter. Come visit me at the bakery and I will give you a taste!
Margaret Firestone was the grandmother of my two daughters and was my earliest culinary mentor. Her specialty was the food and desserts of her native Hungary. It seems like yesterday, that we enjoyed these biscotti-style cookies, called mandelbrot (Yiddish for almond bread), while chatting over a cup of coffee. Margaret used many different store bought flavors of preserves to fill her cookies —I never knew what I was going to find inside her mandelbrot. Being a jam maker has its advantages— lots of flavors to choose from that are always fresh from my pot! I am going to make these cookies for you with my orange-apricot marmalade. Margaret would have loved the combination; marmalade was her favorite.
Fall is here and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I am at my country hide-away, looking out the window at the remaining orange colored leaves on our trees. Like a streak of lightening, my mind transports back in time to thirty years ago when we opened Sarabeth's Kitchen to make my family's secret recipe–the Orange-Apricot Marmalade. It was around the time of our first Thanksgiving at the bakery on Amsterdam Avenue in 1981. We had recently opened the bakery and people in the neighborhood were excited about our shop. Bill (Mr. Sarabeth, as he calls himself) would arrive every evening at the same time to remind me that it was time to come home. Often we would dash around the corner to Zabar's to pick up a delicious dinner, which was carefully packed in a sturdy white bag with its bold, bright orange graphics printed on each side. On one of those evenings, walking home on our usual route past the shop, we stopped for a last minute peek. There were two people looking in the window at the large display of orange-apricot-marmalade. We moved closer to eavesdrop on their conversation and this is what we heard. The woman said to her friend, "A jam store in Manhattan?" She harrumphed, "She'll never make it!" Bill and I looked at each other in surprise, shrugged our shoulders and went home to eat our dinner. Blink–its thirty years later and we proved her to be wrong.