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Fillings - Jams - Glazes

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I am almost a good preserver/jammer as I am a baker. Ok – I am outstanding. Most people who preserve get good at it – it comes with the territory as does creating your own special fruit combinations. I love plum jam but like a bit of oomph as provided by a handful of raspberries thrown in. This jam is ambrosial, deep crimson and sublime on toasted bagels or English muffins.

Pears are overlooked in autumn, as apples take top billing but they are so elegant. Small pears, poached in Earl Grey Tea, with some honey and vanilla are sublime. You can also make these in red wine or apple cider instead of the tea, or use green tea and add orange zest to the brew.

For best flavor and texture, ground poppy seeds are a must. You will find the mixture in finer spice stores and European markets or order it from places like online. Or, get a poppy seed grinder and grind the poppy seeds yourself. Just soaking poppy seeds does not soften them enough nor does a food processor or coffee mill do an adequate job. IF you cannot find a grinder nor ground poppy seeds, then 'doctor' up store-bought poppy seed filling with ground raisins, grated apple, some jam, a bit of honey and it will still be quite exceptional.

You should assume that any good baker is also a great preserver. If you can pick and harvest it, I can preserve it. My jams are renowned. Apricot jam is one of my personal favorites and this recipe is simple, easy and the best way to capture summer in a Mason jar. The pot to preserve in that ensures you won't have anything burnt spots of jam (or bean soups in the fall)? 12 quart Stainless Collection stock pot.

This is a new spin on something old but still ambrosial - stewed rhubarb with extra perks. Rhubarb marries well with oranges (who also do their best to tint the rhubarb a deep rose colour) but any oranges you have on hand are just as perfect.

Rhubarb is a favorite food of mine but now it's finding mainstream fans. Blood oranges seem to be the kiwi of the 21st Century. Together, they are a perfect union. This is a new spin on something old but ambrosial: stewed rhubarb of oven compote. Rhubarb marries well with sweet blood oranges (who also do their best to tint the rhubarb a deep rose colour). A touch of brown and white sugar and pomegranate molasses (honey is a fine substitute) make this rustic and sophisticated all at once. Serve over ice-cream, pound cake, with scones, or on with yogurt or Scottish oatmeal for a sweet, tart banquet. I tend to slice two of the blood oranges called for and grind up the last one but just slicing all three is fine.

The right balance of acid and sweet.

The combination of cranberries and cherries makes for a deep ruby treat with a sweet and tangy taste.

A wonderful, ruby winner of a filling.
This is one of those glossy, rich fudge frostings. It is as good on a Boston Cream Pie cake, or in a layer cake or on either chocolate or vanilla cupcakes.
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