Preserving by the Pint — Off the Shelf
Marisa McClellan's newest book, Preserving by the Pint, is a love letter to small-batch preservers of all levels of experience. If you've always wanted to try your hand at preserving but were too overwhelmed by all the details and chemistry involved, Marisa is here to help you get your feet wet. At the same time, her inspired flavor combinations are fresh and creative, perfect for experienced canners looking to change up their seasonal preserving roster. My favorite thing about her recipes is that they're incredibly approachable. The chapters are organized by season, making the book easy to browse and navigate. The recipes call for small quantities of seasonal produce, which I found makes them pleasantly, almost surprisingly, affordable. Her recipes are quick and easy to put together, and they pack huge flavors into tiny containers.
Marisa captures the bright, hopeful flavors of spring, the warm, sun-kissed flavors of summer, the earthy, deep flavors of autumn and the rustic, hearty taste of winter. If you've ever found yourself wistfully wishing you could bottle the magic of summer sunshine, give the Peach Jam with Sriracha recipe (below) a try. One taste and you’ll agree that it’s summertime in a jar. I’m not one to wish away the summer days, but I do look forward to the cold January evening when I pull a jar of this off the shelf and treat myself to a tropical vacation with breakfast.
When peaches are in season, I have a hard time holding back and end up buying vast quantities of them. It’s always far more than I can eat before they soften precariously and so I’m always devising new ways to put them into jars. A few years back, while cooking up a little batch of peach jam, my eyes fell on the bottle of sriracha sitting on the counter. On a whim, I squirted some into the nearly finished jam, just to see what would happen. The result was a sweet, tart, and slightly spicy jam that is a revelation with turkey burgers and roasted sweet potatoes.
Prepare a boiling water bath and 3 half-pint jars. Place three lids in a small saucepan of water and bring to a gentle simmer.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl two-thirds of the way up with cold water. Blanch the peaches in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, then immediately transfer to the ice water.
Once they are cool enough to touch, slip off the skins and halve and pit the peaches. Place the peaches in a shallow bowl or baking dish. Using a potato masher, smash them into a pulp. Stir in the sugar and let the fruit sit for a few minutes, until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
To cook, scrape the fruit into a large skillet, add the lemon juice and place over medium-high heat. Stirring regularly, bring the fruit to a boil and cook until it bubbles and looks quite thick, 10 to 12 minutes. It's done when you pull a spatula through the jam and it doesn't immediately rush in to fill the space you've cleared. In the last couple of minutes of cooking, stir in the sriracha.
Remove the jam from the heat and funnel into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.