Now that all of our recipes are finalized, we are starting to do production for real. Lots of chopping, mixing and boiling means lots of tasty jars of preserves for you!
I, Matt, do most of the knife work because I’ve got a lot of experience cooking professionally and can make quick work of it. I julienned 15 pounds of shallots on this day to make 60 jars of our Shallot Confit with Red Wine.
I went to the store later and the person ringing me out said, “Do you smell like onions?”
“Yes, I do,” I said.
We cook all our preserves by hand, allowing us to really focus in on the details. We tease out the complexities in each of our ingredients and that can only be done with the care and attention that small batches afford.
As you can see, we also combine age-old European preserving traditions with modern technology. I use my iPhone in the kitchen for everything from timing how long we steep tea to calculating ratios to posting on Twitter as I cook!
Once everything is mixed, we bring it all to a good simmer and keep a close eye on each pot. Every piece of fruit is different and we have to be prepared to make adjustments on the fly. The interesting moments come when Clare and I disagree on what changes to make.
Clare has almost no sweet tooth and is generally suspicious when I think we need to add more sugar to a batch. I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on in this photo.
That, and a healthy dose of hamming it up for the camera.
Before long, we’re ready to jar them up.
And that’s how we make our preserves!
All that’s left is for you to eat them.