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Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber Hardcover – September 1, 2002
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Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Christine Ferber lives in Alsace, where she continues to make jams, pastry, and confections by hand, with only the freshest local ingredients. She is the author of several books on French cookery.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ferber provides flavor inspirations and deceptively simple approach. However, there is no explanation in the book for pectin substitution. She relies on either the natural pectin found in the fruit or uses green apple jelly as a pectin base which means you get to make alot of green apple jelly adding a whole set of steps to the jam/jelly process. The book does not explain which fruits have enough natural pectin to set and what level of set.
If you know what it means to skim the juices already then the simple instructions are enough to work with but if you have no "feel" or previous knowledge of preserves making than the instructions seem skimpy. This is NOT a teaching volume it is an inspirational volume for the experienced preserves person.
The important thing though is that the flavors are fabulous. Just be sure to read the instructions first and research carefully your subsititutions and also your preserve process or else the simple instructions become too simple.
Recommended for the collection.
Before going much further, I must give a word or warning that I do not consider this book a complete manual on how to make and preserve jams and jellies. In fact, it is telling that the title and subtitle DO NOT include the word `preserves'. While I am not an expert on preserves and canning, I have enough knowledge, acquired from a typically excellent episode of Alton Brown's `Good Eats' to know that successfully packing a confit in a sterile container is not the same as prepping a PRESERVE which can safely sit on an unrefrigerated shelf for up to a year. So, if you are serious about making confits and preserves, get a very good introductory book on canning, as Ms. Ferber's book is much more of a master class on the subject, which assumes you know a lot about the mechanics of canning and preserving. The book is primarily a collection of primo recipes for producing jams and jellies worthy of smearing on your artisinal breads or filling your handmade Linzer cookies.Read more ›
The recipes are interesting, but they call for a huge amount of sugar, far more than is typical nowadays in jam recipes. All that sugar ensures that after you open the jam, it does not have to be refrigerated; there is too much sugar to allow for much mold to grow. For me, though, this amount of sugar overpowers the fruit flavor. Even the apple pectin recipe is full of sugar. I wasted a lot of sugar making a bunch of that when I could have made it it without any sugar at all and it would work just as well. I've used a number of the recipes now and have cut down the sugar enormously (and processed the jars for 5 minutes in a BWB). They taste a lot better to me. I would rather refrigerate a jam after opening and have a more fruity flavor than add so much sugar that the fruit is barely identifiable.
As someone mentioned in comments, some of these recipes won't set (even if you add all the sugar called for). I believe that is because Europeans tend to like more runny jams than Americans do. I have sure seen that with Russian jams. At any rate, I too became frustrated with testing and testing and not getting any set.
The one thing I really like about this book is the technique of adding the sugar to the fruit and letting it cold macerate overnight. The next day the fruit is cooked a bit and then the juice is drained and boiled down.Read more ›
This is a great book, especially for those wanting to take preserve making one step further and try interesting combinations. In fact, trying those interesting combinations certainly got my creative juices flowing and inspired me to make some fun mixes of my own.
However, this is not a book that goes over the particulars involved in preserving foods and canning, and the necessary sanitation and precautions it entails, so any first-time canners need to pick up another book or do some research online for these techniques.
All in all, I would definetly buy this book again if it was ever lost or stolen by the many admiring friends who have borrowed it so far.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I could not decide whether to give this cookbook 3 stars or 4. Clearly, the author has made many incredible jams and is generous enough to provide us with the recipes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Luv2shopns
This book is by far the best I've found on jam and jellies. The finished product actually tastes like fresh, ripe fruit; not sugar. In my opinion, this is due to the methods Ms. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Marce
Long on ideas, short on technique. Be prepared for failure if you decide to make the chestnut preserves in this book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Emily Tsialos
I have a ton of cook books. This one is a coffee table book, and no more. The pictures are nice but don't be fooled by the French / Alsace-Lorraine pitch. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Roger Pellegrini
As others have said, this book is not for the novice but the recipes not insurmountable if one is careful and paying attention. Read morePublished 9 months ago by balaboosta
I have been making preserves/jams/jellies for many years, using the best varieties of fruits that are available. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ellm
I thought this was a wonderful book with unique recipes for jams and jellies that are not dependent on commercial pectins to be made properly, including a recipe to make your own... Read morePublished 14 months ago by K.S.
I love this book! I make jams from it all the time now. Some of my favorites are banana with orange and vanilla, blood orange, carrot-cardamom and Austrian Lady.Published 14 months ago by Robert Bowen