June 15, 2011

I Made a Batch of Strawberry Jam

June means that strawberry season has arrived in my area of the Northeast and it gives me great pleasure to jump right in and get busy making jam.  Several years ago, when my television show was still being taped near my old home in Connecticut, we invited pastry chef and jam maker, Christine Ferber to the studio.  Ferber, a fifth-generation pastry maker from the Alsace region of France, has won acclaim and awards for her baked goods, yet holds a particular passion for preserves. Dubbed 'Christine, Queen of Jams' by her peers, she loves the flavorful surprises she achieves through such unusual ingredient combinations as cherry with pinot noir, rhubarb with honey and rosemary, and rosehip and vanilla.  That was when I was first introduced to her book on the subject, Mes Confitures and I have enjoyed many of her recipes ever since.  I’ve also had the pleasure of visiting Ferber’s shop, Au Relais des Trois Epis, in Niedermorschwihr, a village in Alsace.  While there, I sampled some of the most delicate, tender, and subtle confitures I’ve ever tasted, including incredible artisanal jams, such as Sicilian blood orange, Devon blackberry, Coriscan lemon marmalade, and Provençal apricot.  When making jams and jellies, I always reach for my well-used copy of Mes Confitures.