Honey-Sweetened Apricot Thyme Jam

Every July, I buy a 25 pound box of apricot seconds and spent the next week scurrying from one recipe to the next.

It’s a race again time to get all that fruit cooked into jams, chutneys, mustards, and other preserves before they begin to soften, brown, and develop moldy patches.

Some might question this behavior, but when you love apricots as much as I do, it is imperative to squirrel away as many pounds of this sunny, short-seasoned stonefruit as is possible when they’re available.

apricots

One of my very favorite apricot preserves is a honey-sweetened jam, gently flavored with something herbaceous. It’s a really good trick, because it takes a basic preserve and transforms it into a perfect pair for cheeses, roast meats, and other sweet-and-savory applications.

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Concede Summer’s End with Vanilla-Biscuit Peach & Plum Cobbler

I had another post in queue for you for today, but it rightfully got shoved to the back burner mere minutes after I scraped my bowl of cobbler clean on Wednesday and declared I had to share this simple summer dessert.

We’re hanging onto summer by a thread. Noah goes back to school next week  and Mateo has his first day of preschool after the long weekend.

Recipes featuring pumpkin and apples are already making an appearance, and they are making me nervous. I feel like I haven’t eaten enough Corn on the Cob with Feta-Mint Butter, or Marinated Tomatoes. Just the other night I tweeted:

I love fall flavors as much as anyone, but for now, let’s give summer fruit it’s deserved due – and this cobbler is the best vehicle I can possibly think of.

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Four ideas for campfire-roasted fruit (recipe: Caramel Peaches with Pecans)

We are camping folk in the summer. Be it on a beach in Maine or lake-side in rural Quebec, we pitch a big tent and cook foil dinners and hash browns over an open fire, gaze at the stars until bedtime is long past, and wake up at an unmentionable hour with the sun.

This summer, however, has been a bit different. We have a relatively-new-but-growing-up-fast baby in the family, and although I have camped in the past with a wee one, I just couldn’t find the motivation this time around to pack up all five of us and hit the trail.

Fortunately we have a big yard with plenty of space to pitch a tent, and at the far end of it, there’s a fire pit suitable for both a roaring bonfire or a marshmallow-toasting bed of coals. We took advantage of our urban homestead last week and played at camping on our own turf.

Danny and the boys pitched the tent while I tossed a salad, shucked corn, and wrapped up these peaches for dessert. Yes, there were marshmallows and s’mores, too, but I wanted to highlight some of the fruit that’s plentiful now and ripening all over my counter tops.

Our campfire-roasted caramel peaches with toasted pecans were smokey and sweet, sticky and soft – and made a lovely little seasonal dessert.

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Join me for canning week (Recipe: Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam)

This summer I’ve been making a conscious effort to up my canning game. Getting my act together for preserving takes setting a specific time aside for the job, penciling it on the digital calendar, and communicating with Danny that, dude, you so have all the kids on Saturday, but it’s going to be so worth it when we’re eating preserves all winter long.

Once the dates were set, I rounded up every canning jar in the house, took stock of my Tattler lids, invested in a few Weck jars, and purchased more standard jars that I anticipated I would need. It’s important to get your gear in order before you buy your fruit. Fruit can spoil quickly, but jars can sit around forever.

So far, it’s been going well, with my running list of preserves looking like this:

The weeks are just flying by, though, and I feel like I am barely staying on top of the seasonal produce as it comes and goes at the market. I’ve already missed my chance to pickle asparagus, but they weren’t on my all-important list of ‘must-haves’. (Speaking of essentials, have you written up a practical assessment of what you need to can and you will eat? This helps keep your canning projects realistic – and your sanity intact.)

I thought an official canning week was just what we needed around here to keep up the momentum, share a few recipes, and inspire each other.

Read on for information on how to join in, as well as a recipe for cherry-plum jam.

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Grilled Fruit Salad with Lime

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and Danny gave up breakfast in bed to join his dad and the rest of the family for a good cause: the Procure 5k walk to raise funds for prostate cancer research.

Even Clara came along, and we strolled the course, not concerning ourselves with the time, but just happy to be together, and with a cancer survivor in our group.

When the race wrapped up, we headed back to the grandparents to jump in the pool and fire up the barbecue. I wanted to contribute a dessert that was refreshing after our (rather sweaty) walk and quick to toss together.

I decided on a colourful salad of grilled pineapple, mango, and peaches, with a handful of raspberries thrown in, and a squeeze of lime juice on the top. It was a fine, fine choice.

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