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Love Italian Food? 5 Essential Cookbooks for Your Collection

Many cookbook authors have endeavored to capture the spirit of la bella paese for anglophone readers, but only a handful of Italian cookbooks have truly succeeded in transforming our country's culinary landscape. These are the voices and volumes that stand out, the essential, inspiring, reliable texts you want on your bookshelf above all others. More

Exciting Flavors at the Undrgrnd Donuts Food Truck in Philadelphia

Undrgrnd Donuts is a doughnut food truck that has joined the rotation of Philly's other great options for truck dining at spots like 33rd and Arch, The Navy Yard, and The Porch at 30th Street Station. Their doughnuts (which at $2.00 each are about the most budget friendly thing you can get from a boutique food truck these days) are of the cake variety, and the flavor options are exciting ones. More

Preserved: What's the Deal With Fruit Butters?

As far as preserving goes, fruit butters are an ideal place for a beginner to start. They require no fussy or preserving-specific equipment, and there's no guesswork of whether they've reached a set or not. You'll see them made with cherries, peaches, pumpkin, nectarines, and even berries, but the be-all of fruit butters is apple. More

Gift Guide: For the Home Canner and Preserver

Having a friend or loved one who makes a hobby of preserving is great because you will very likely be the lucky recipient of some of those jars of jams, pickles, chutneys and preserves this holiday season. Putting up preserves is hard work, but a thoughtful gift will sweeten any home canner's holiday. More

Preserved: Cranberry Quince Chutney

This wintry chutney, spiced with clove and bright with cranberries and tangerine, is versatile for the holidays either as a gift or on a cheese tray. Plus, the natural pectin in the cranberries helps it set even with a short cooking time, so you can spend less time preserving and more time partying. More

First Look: The New Artisan Boulanger Patissier, Philadelphia

The original Aristan Boulanger Patissier was hardly a neighborhood secret—the bakery has been featured in the media countless times, and in 2013 Chin was nominated for a James Beard Award in the category of "Outstanding Pastry Chef." But after having to relocate, it took over a year for the bakery to reopen its doors. We took a look at the new space, including new sweets from tarts to charlottes to a wide variety of croissants. More

Preserved: Raspberry Rose Jam

Raspberry and rose are a natural combination, and not just in grandma's yard. Rather than thinking this of this as a straight one-to-one pairing, the result is a jam with a layered profile. One bite is fruit-forward, the next more floral. The tartness of the berries tempers out the rose, which prevents the jam from having a soapy flavor. More

Love Italian Food? 5 Essential Cookbooks for Your Collection

@Trieste gal: You got me. Thanks for correcting my grammar! What's your go-to recipe in Il Cucchiaio d'Argento?

Dried Apricot and Pineapple Jam

Glad to hear it, @FarmerCAB!

Spiced Mango Chutney

@joydreamz This recipe, and most other preserving recipes you'll find online, has not been lab tested for pH. The reason being that there is not a hugely reliable way to test the pH of food in a home kitchen scenario, so when developing a new recipe I adhere to the guidelines set by the National Center for Food Preservation, but you can pretty much assume that recipe for preserves not supplied through the NCFP or the USDA have not necessarily been tested.

Spiced Mango Chutney

@zanne4848 According to the label at my international market these were cayennes (nice produce identification, @elangomatt!), but you could swap them for an ounce of another, less spicy chili if heat's not your thing. I think serranos or bird chilis would each work equally well here, and so would jalapeños for something a notch milder. One way or another the sugar and the vinegar in the recipe mellow their heat considerably.

Preserved: Spiced Mango Chutney

@elangomatt I think that this recipe would work just fine with another kind of mango. Being not from a tropical region, I don't find too much distinction in the texture of the two varieties of mango that tend to be available to me, except that the champagne mangos tend to be extra velvety and not as fibrous as their red and green counterparts. Though I haven't tried it with them, I can't imagine that swapping them out would lead to disastrous effects. Try it and let us know how it goes.

Dried Apricot and Pineapple Jam

@mella2750 & @Martha 503 : Though I haven't tried it with a smaller quantity, I imagine that this recipe would work just fine halved or even quartered for the freezer. It has a relatively loose set and plenty of sugar, so theoretically it should make the conversion fine. If you do cut it substantially (to quarter it, for example), I might try it with a low-sugar powdered pectin (instead of liquid pectin where you would still have to open a packet of liquid pectin which just doesn't keep). You could also try eliminating the pectin altogether and simply judge the set of the jam by temperature (220°F) or texture as with a plate test. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

Pink Lemonade Curd

Yep! And I would stick to their recommendation of using this within a few months - the rosy color starts to fade.

Preserved: What's the Deal With Fruit Butters?

I couldn't have said it better, chijamman! Lava sounds about right.

All-Purpose Apple Butter

Shouldn't be a problem, as long as the jars are made from food-grade materials, but be sure to warn the recipients of your gifts that they need to be refrigerated.

All-Purpose Apple Butter

Whoops! Sorry. One cup. I've updated the recipe to reflect it.

Cranberry Quince Chutney

Yes! Glad to hear it!

Easy Grape Jam

I have used a steam juicer! But only at the home of friends who use theirs to turn buckets of plums from their backyard trees into plum nectar which they bottle and drink all year long. I imagine that it would be a bit of a hassle for a batch of jam this small though, what do you think?

Snapshots From Amsterdam: A 'No Munchies Required' Snack Tour

What a great selection! Looking forward to my next chance to eat in Amsterdam...

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