Philly blogger’s cookbook explores meals from food in jars
A new cookbook by Philadelphia author, blogger, and canning expert Marisa McClellan offers ways to take preserves and pickled vegetables in new directions by incorporating them into dishes for all occasions.
“The Food in Jars Kitchen: 101 Ways to Cook, Bake, Plate, and Share Your Homemade Pantry,” published
April 2 by Running Press, helps readers “think beyond toast” with recipes for things like pork tenderloin with chutney sauce, apple Bundt cake and a Meyer lemon marmalade martini.
The recipes draw from preserved ingredients that can enhance flavors or add a new twist, such as a chocolate cake made with a hint of sauerkraut that mimics the texture of shredded coconut.
McClellan, known for her Food in Jars blog, is the author of “Food in Jars,” “Preserving by the Pint” and “Naturally Sweet Food in Jars.” She’s the great-granddaughter of a Philadelphia Orchestra violinist, and her family operated a Russian tea room near the Academy of Music.
Lemon Curd and Blueberry Tart
I have always loved a good grocery store fruit tart. Traditionally made from layers of pastry cream, carefully arranged berries and a perfectly clear glaze, they are among my favorite things to take to a party when I’m pressed for time and can’t manage something homemade. However, if I have time to make something at home, I go a little less traditional. The bright, smooth
lemon curd is many times more interesting than pastry cream, and the blueberries look pretty and rustic (with no fussy arranging
Recommended preserves: I like this tart when it’s made with lemon curd and blueberries, but it works equally well with other kinds of curds and varieties of berries. Just know that if you use berries that you have to chop, which will release lots of juice, the tart won’t hold as long before serving as one made with intact berries.
Makes one 9-inch tart.
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 recipe Sweet Tart Crust, chilled and ready to roll (recipe below)
2 cups lemon curd
12 ounces fresh blueberries
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon or apple jelly, or as needed, for glazing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the crust into a round roughly 12 inches in diameter. Loosely roll the crust around your pin and unfurl it over a 9-inch removable-
bottom tart pan. Tuck the crust into the flutes of the pan and trim away any excess crust. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork to help prevent air bubbles from forming. Crumple up a sheet of parchment paper and spread it out over the molded dough. Fill the parchment with pie weights or dried beans that you save for this purpose. Bake the crust until it is light brown and isn’t at all damp-looking, 20 to
Remove the crust from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
To fill, pour the lemon curd into the shell and spread it evenly, using an offset spatula.
Rinse the blueberries and check them carefully for stems and dried-up blossoms. Dry them thoroughly and pour them into a mixing bowl. Warm the jelly just until it is loose enough to pour and drizzle it over the berries. Toss until they are well coated, and gently tumble them evenly over the lemon curd.
Sweet Tart Crust
For tarts I plan to fill with lemon curd or jam whipped with cream cheese — or for the raspberry fool topped with more fresh raspberries, this is the crust I bake. It is crisp yet tender and always does justice to the filling. Just know that it’s a little fussy to roll out. Occasionally, I skip the rolling pin, break off small pieces, and just press them into the pan with damp fingers rather than risk the frustration.
Makes enough for two 9-inch tarts.
21/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 ounces cold, unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks, beaten
3 to 4 tablespoons ice-cold water
Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse 5 or 6 times to help break up the butter. Then, with the motor running, add the egg yolks and stream in
3 tablespoons of the water. If the dough doesn’t seem to be coming together, add up to the final tablespoon. Stop processing when you see the dough beginning to form blueberry-size clumps.
Spread a length of plastic wrap on your counter top and carefully pour the dough into it. Using the edges of the plastic, form the dough into a rough disc.
Refrigerate for at least
1 hour before using. The dough will keep in the fridge, tightly wrapped, for several days. It can also be frozen for up to
— Recipes reprinted with permission from “The Food in Jars
Kitchen” by Marisa McClellan (Running Press)