Kenji, many thanks for posting on food preservation, love it!
A few thoughts:
I'm concerned about food safety in your recipe and advice. There are 2 related issues here: Specification of very ripe fruit, & eliminating lemon juice from the recipe. Both of these reduce the acidity of the jam, which could lead to mold or botulism. In my experience, the lemon juice is added specifically to increase the acidity; that's why the amount varies from fruit to fruit. You may want to review food preservation safety guidelines. Oregon State, Idaho State, and Georgia's extension services all have extensive materials.
Also, quality jam relies on careful application of heat energy. For that reason, copper is the metal of choice. Your recommendation of cast iron is hard to understand in that context.
Finally, it's a good idea to store finished product without the bands on the jars, to more easily spot lids that have lost their seal.
@stbarry: The Kitchen Aid food mill works very well, and runs off the mixer's attachment mount, making big batches much easier.
Kenji: A question on salting: at one point above you say that you salt 4 days ahead, wrap, and fridge. At another, you say to refrigerate unwrapped. Which is better?
Many thanks, I used the 200 degree reverse sear method at Thanksgiving, it worked perfectly!
A Thanksgiving cocktail question: When adopting a recipe for pre-batching, how much water should I add to compensate for not shaking the mix? I'd like guests to be able to pour directly from the pitcher onto rocks, add garnish, and go, leaving me free to host and cook. Each drink has 2oz base spirit, 1 oz liqueur. Thanks in advance...
Mom's sour cream chocolate birthday cake!
Ice cream base, and I'd like mine in British Racing Green.
Perfect for trying out a Sansaire immersion circulator!
Didn't vary ingredients, but changed procedure to make the custard base in a mixer, then bag and circulate it at 180. No more custard anxiety!
I'd be interested to know if others have experimented with time/temp on custard making, or if there is a chart somewhere...
Here's the revised procedure:
1. Freeze ice cream maker work bowl 24 hours, or at least overnight.
2. Preheat immersion circulator to 180°F.
3. In a stand mixer on slowest speed, combine the egg yolks, sugar, corn syrup, salt, and cocoa if using, until well combined. Mix in remaining ingredients until fully combined, being careful not to beat air into mixture.
4. Pour custard base into large zipper bag, remove any air in the bag via water displacement, then zip closed.
5. Circulate for 20 minutes, then remove bag and agitate. Circulate for another 20 minutes.
6. Remove bag and chill in an ice bath for half and hour, then refrigerate until it is very cold, about 40°F, or overnight.
7. Strain custard through a fine mesh strainer into a pre-chilled quart measuring cup. Assemble ice cream maker and turn on. Pour custard quickly and continuously into the ice cream maker work bowl. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions (half an hour for Cuisinart ICE-20), then serve right away or transfer to an airtight container and chill in freezer for 1 hour to let custard firm up slightly. Serve custard within two hours of it being made.
Made this today sous vide.
Mixed all the ingredients cold, then vacuum sealed, and circulated at 180 for 40 minutes, removing once to agitate.
Custard came out perfect, best ever, thick and rich, with no scrambled egg!
No more custard anxiety :)
Kenji, I appreciate that you encourage measuring by weight, but then the recipe offers no weights for small-quantity ingredients. I know how to read a decimal, how about going all the way in on precision baking?
I'd rather just keep hitting 'tare', you know...
Hmmm, I'm confused. If you're trying not to dry out the ham, wouldn't you want to heat it hot and fast? Think about heating bread: if you put it in a low oven for a while, it'll come to temp, and be toast: dry. If you use high heat for a short time, it comes to temp and stays moist. What am I missing here?
Help us Obi Wan Kenji, you're our only hope...
Thank you thank you thank you for ditching the slideshow. Glad to see you value readers over pageviews!
From the other side of the counter, at our espresso biz at Eugene's Saturday Market, I tried to teach staff that we were in the business of providing guests with a cup of exactly what they want, not simply selling coffee.
Happened a lot in the early 90's, when terms for espresso drinks were very much in flux, and we'd have situations where someone from another region would order a drink expecting something different than what we made. Rather than get pedantic, we'd just ask them exactly what they wanted in their cup, and make it.
If a guest actually took the time to come back up to the counter with an issue, that seemed pretty significant to me. So, we'd first refund their money, then remake their drink. The reason didn't matter; the goal of the transaction was to demonstrate integrity, and serve the guest exactly what they wanted.
I sometimes imagined that this might be the only time in their day when they got exactly what they wanted, and that moment of recognition, where they saw that we were simply trying to do right by them, made everything worth it.
It's really fun, actually, to let go of your own expectations, and try your hardest to get something right for someone else, if you make that the task, rather than a revenue target for the day.
Then again, I'm just an Oregon weirdo...
Seconding BuckSouth, and adding that the butchering surface appears to be quite porous, better to host bacteria. Yummy?
Stopping eating pizza because of cholesterol worries :(
Why martyr yourself with all the stirring? 1 quart liquid, 1 cup grits, 1 teaspoon salt, in a small ovenproof container uncovered at 350 for around 40 minutes will do just fine. No lumps or problems. Stir in cheese and butter, cook covered a bit longer and poof, perfect grits w/out the constant stirring.
To get fancy, grab a pound of shrimp, make a quick stock from the shells, then use that for the liquid. Add 1/2 C fresh corn and some green onions along with 1/3 C parm. Saute shrimp w garlic or terriyaki and place on top. Our go-to dinner, along with some slow cooked greens like collards.
@W*D*C: Perhaps this is it.
Just checked the water temp in my coffee kettle to see where it is 60 seconds after boiling, looks like I need to wait a bit longer to let it cool to 195.
Is there a Serious Eats editorial stance on brining? This article advocates for it, while the Food Lab (Kenji) is decisively anti-brining, and specifically warns against using acidic brines like cider.
Seems like a pretty confusing set of mixed messages...
Editors: you've left an it's uncorrected in the first paragraph. "...Two, it's artisan ice cream" should use "its".
Have you thought of employing a copy editor? Throughout SE there are often instances of missing or dropped words, incorrect usage, or other errors that interfere with successful expression of your message.
@Kenji, I guess you're not old enough nor West enough to remember Bud's in SF. Long before Steve's there were lines 'round the block for Bud's. Nice try, though!
@Yami: 2 issues - 1. Make sure the vinegar is 5% acidity, so that the recipe is food safe. 2) Red vinegars will radically change the appearance; there's something beguiling about the emerald green of dilly beans...
A few things from a veteran preserver:
Lids shouldn't be boiled or simmered, it can melt the glue prematurely. I usually bring a small pot to a boil, remove from heat, add lids, and cover.
Jars and bands don't need to be boiled, as the food going in them is not sterile. Cleaned them very well with hot soapy water, and then keep nice and hot for filling. I often use the sanitize setting on my dishwasher.
Pressure canning is for low acid foods, such as most veggies and meats. USDA recommends pressure canning tomatoes when they're super ripe, too.
Storing jars without bands allows for easier detection of spoilage.
When placing jars in a boiling water bath, the water level should be a good couple inches of water above the top of the jar.
When screwing the bands on, mellow hand tight pressure is more than sufficient. The band doesn't make the seal, the change in pressure does. The band is mostly there to keep the lid aligned with the jar top, and to keep everything together if there's any siphoning or burping.
You can pressure can foods that you'd usually process in a boiling water bath, but I'm not sure why you'd want to subject them to the higher temperatures.
If you're just starting out, make some jam or jelly using Pomona's Pectin and their low-sugar recipes. You can use half the usual amount of sugar, so the fruit really stands out, and the recipes are well written and dependable.
The University of Georgia's National Center for Home Food Preservation has tons of great info:
I've been experimenting with the ratios for making a rye slaughter, then figured out that it's really a Boulevardier! I like mine with twice as much rye as compari and vermouth, though. French75's are a lot of fun with some cava or prosecco too.
I've been loving Serrano ham lately.
Wrapped around bacon!
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