Honoring the end of one season and the beginning of another I made Peach Almond Conserve  and Cranberry Apple Conserve  this week.  Conserves are similar to preserves but are made with a combination of fresh and dried fruits and often contain nuts.   These conserves are made without pectin and with less sugar than most jams, giving them a softer, chunkier texture with lots of fruit taste.  A good conserve blends the flavors of the fruits without losing their individual character. 

Here are my recipes for some delicious seasonal conserves.

Cranberry Apple Walnut Conserve
2 cups cranberries
6 cups apples (peeled, cored, cut in 1/4 inch slices, then cut in half)
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup walnuts (rough chopped)
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cinnamon sticks
1 whole star anise
2 tablespoons Contreau (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Place walnuts in single layer on cookie sheet
Toast in oven until just slightly browned and fragrant
Set nuts aside to cool
Cook cranberries in orange juice and spices until they begin to soften slightly and pop (about 10 minutes)
Add apples, raisins, and sugar
Cook gently until apples soften and mixture begins to thicken
Stir in remaining sugar and Contreau
Boil until mixture gels (will be a softer spread than a traditional jam)
Remove cinnamon sticks and star anise
Stir in walnuts
refrigerate, can, or freeze

Peach Almond Conserve
8 cups peaches (peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2 chunks)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dried currants
2/3 cup slivered almonds
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons Ameretto (or 1 tsp almond extract)

Cook peaches, currants and cinnamon sticks until they get slightly soft and juicy
Add sugar and Ameretto (or almond extract) turn up heat
Boil until mixture gels (will be a softer spread than a traditional jam)
Remove cinnamon sticks
Stir in almonds
Refrigerate, can, or freeze


One response to “Conserve-ation

  1. mmmmmmm those look so good! thanks for sharing the recipes!

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