In the field of marmalade cookbooks, this book remains at the top of the heap. It’s an excellent primer on the basics as well as an opportunity to go deeper.
Last fall, when I was still trying to pick myself up from the blow of being laid off from my job, I got a email from my editor at Running Press. She was working on a marmalade project and wanted to know if I’d be interested in making a sampling of recipes from book for the photo shoot. My need for work, coupled with the fact that I was very much excited to see a world of new-to-me marmalades, meant that I said yes within moments of receiving her note.
In early January, I spent about two weeks digging deep into the world of marmalades. I simmered, sliced, grated, and jarred up 12 recipes from the book. I went crazy trying to find yuzu, passionfruit, and Seville oranges in Philadelphia. Without question, I got far more than my daily recommended dose of vitamin C during that period.
Now, many months later, Marmalade is here and it is gorgeous. Written by food writer and marmalade obsessive Elizabeth Field and photographed by award winning food blogger and photographer Helene Dujardin, this book is a pleasure to hold and use. It contains a variety of marmalades (sweet, savory, citrus, and beyond), as well meals that can incorporate these spreads and baked goods that can serve as vehicle for them.
Of course, I get particular pleasure flipping through this book, because nearly every preserve and spread pictured is something I made in my own kitchen. It’s ridiculously satisfying to look at the photos and recall the flavors and aromas of each recipe.
I’m also happy to have this volume in my hands, because while I made a dozen of the recipes it contains, I didn’t actually get to keep any of them. I’m very much looking forward to revisit the Tangerine and Vanilla Marmalade, as well as the “In the Pink” variety made from ruby red grapefruit.
Recently, I queried my Twitter followers, asking what they were looking for in a preserving book. An internet acquaintance of mine said that she was looking for something that would allow her to push her preserving skills and move beyond the basic “Canning 101” recipes that are so readily found. Happily (at least, if she likes marmalade), this is a book that might serve her well. While it’s plenty accessible for new canners, there’s also plenty here that will satisfy those looking to broaden their canning.
I’m afraid that I’m responsible for this variation on the Passionfruit Marmalade recipe in this book. When I tested these recipes, I marched up and down the length and breadth of Philadelphia, trying to find passionfruit. I came to the conclusion that it was impossible to source in January.
Instead of admitting defeat, I created a version that used dragon fruit, in the hopes that it might trick the camera. It didn’t, but instead of tossing that batch, the powers that be decided to add a variation to the book, in order to make the photo work. I was greatly relieved that my efforts weren’t wasted. It’s also fun to see the small impact I had on this delightful book.