Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Master Food Preservers: Conserves, butters and marmalade

From page B3 | September 16, 2011 |

If plain old jams and jellies on the morning toast just seem boring, take things up a notch and try some conserves, butters or marmalade. These combination products mix the flavors of various fruits with interesting textures and unusual spices, sometimes adding nuts, to produce a tasty treat. Though all of these products wake up sleepy taste buds, the characteristics of each type of fruit spread remain unique.

Conserves usually contain more than one fruit, nuts, raisins and perhaps coconut. Frequently substituted for jam, the spreadable conserve adds a chunky texture to accompany compatible foods. Delicious spices such as ginger, cinnamon and cloves may also be added to conserves to perk up the various flavors.

Easily spreading fruit butters require combining cooked, puréed fruit, spices and sugar and heating all of these together until the mixture thickens. Fruit butters remain thick when cold, and may be spread wherever a burst of fruit flavor will enhance an otherwise unexciting food. Apples make a fine butter, but other fruits such as strawberries, apricots and peaches cook up just as deliciously.

Marmalades contain small pieces of fruit and fruit peel which hang suspended in soft jelly. Marmalade may be made from many types of fruit, but all marmalade contains at least one citrus fruit. The trick to perfect marmalade, keeping the fruit suspended in the finished product, lies in the standing time allowed after the mixture has cooked and before filling the jars.

The Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County reveal even more tips to perfecting these unusual fruit spreads at the free public education class being offered on Saturday, Sept. 24, and again on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the County Ag Building in Placerville at 311 Fair Lane. Class begins each day at 10 a.m. and ends around noon.

Did you know that the first settlers in America preserved foods for several reasons? Of course, there was no refrigeration, so other preserving methods became necessary.

However, Trudy Eden, in her article, “The Art of Preserving: How Cooks in Colonial Virginia Imitated Nature to Control It” makes a case for another reason for the popularity of preserved fruit spreads.

The article explains that many early settlers believed that preserved food aided digestion, thus ensuring a healthy disposition. The thought that fruit, when preserved with sugar, actually became superior to fresh as a digestion aid resulted in many tables being set with conserves and jams, much like the salt and pepper found on modern tables.

Questions about safe home food preservation? Call the Master Food Preservers and leave a message at 530-621-5506. A Master Food Preserver will return the call.

The Master Food Preservers are also available free of charge to speak to organizations and clubs about food safety or food preservation topics. Just call the number above to arrange for a speaker for small or large groups.

For more information go to the Master Food Preserver Website at





District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3



My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4



Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment



Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery



Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5



Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17