May 28, 2004 12:18 AM | By Adam Roberts | 5 Comments

Mes Confitures

One of the nice things about that contest I threw last week was that one of our losing contestants--(is "losing" too harsh a word? I'm sorry)--one of our miserable failures turned me on to a book I knew nothing about. It was the book she requested should she win the contest. She didn't win the contest. Still, I bought the book. For myself!

The book is (as the title of this post suggests): "Mes Confitures":


Apparently Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini loves this book, and I can see why. It's a book choc full of fantastic jam and jelly recipes. It's organized by season and the recipes are so bizarre you feel compelled to make them just to see what they taste like.

Cases in point:
- Spring Carrot with Cinnamon (pg. 11)
- Apple Jelly with Rose Petals (REAL ROSE PETALS!) (pg. 38)
- Zucchini and Peppers with Spices (pg. 71)
- Watermelon, Apples and Grapefruit (pg. 111)
- Spiced Beer Jelly (WITH REAL BEER) (pg. 144)
- Chestnut with Vanilla (pg. 145)
- Apple with Caramel (mmm) (pg. 195)
- Green Tomato and Pumpkin (ewww) (pg. 203)
- Prailine Milk Jam (pg. 234)

I'm so excited to start using this book but I don't want to make any jams if I can't eat them until after I move to New York. Does anyone know how long you have to let the jams sit for after you make them? Because I really want to make them. Although, waiting until after I get to NYC is a nice thought too: then I can make all these jams my first few weeks, put them away, and eat them in the winter when it's cold and nasty. Nothing like Spiced Beer Jelly on a cool winter's night...


I'm delighted you were able to find this book! Is it the original French version, or has it been translated? I see yours is hardcover and beautiful, I just have the handy French paperback version.

In response to your question, jams don't *have* to sit for months. They do get better if you let them age, because the sugar continues to work on the fruit aromas or something. A bit like wine I guess. My mother, for instance, consistently lets them sit for a year before we eat them (they're labelled with the fruit and date) and my mother's jams are notoriously tasty. But they can also be eaten soon after you've made them, they're just fruit and sugar after all. The flavors will be a bit less complex, but still definitely good.

I would say, do indulge, make a batch or two or three, eat a jar of each before you leave, and give the remaining jars to your favorite friends as a departing gift, with instructions to let them sit for awhile (added bonus : you can test their power of resistance to temptation). Then in a year, when you come back, go to their house and demand to taste your jams!

Good luck, can't wait to read your jam-making posts!

You seem surprised to see the "real rose petals" appearing in the recipe... to my knowing, this is a classic from Middle East (in Montreal, there's an Iranian restaurant renowned for its "Confiture aux pétales de roses et aux pistaches"). Miam!

Many other edible flowers are fantastic in jellies... in Québec, the company Arôme Fleurs & Fruits which offers a very inspiring selection:

Their products are widely available here and I still have their Pansy and Blackberry syrup in the fridge right now. A word on it? Divine.

You can definitely eat the jams right away, although I've heard that they're better if they sit in a cool, dark place. Try the Apricot with Vanilla (wow) and the Strawberry with Pepper and Mint. I just made a batch of Banana with Bittersweet Chocolate yesterday -- the leftovers in the bowl tasted great!

I don't know if you can do this in New York but the best jams are made from freshly picked fruit, IMHO. So if you can, go out to a "pick it yourself" farm some weekend in the beginning of some summer, and pick away. So good.

Sign Up for the Amateur Gourmet Email Newsletter:

Follow Me: