Put 'em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook: Creative Ways to Put 'em Up, Tasty Ways to Use 'em Up

Put 'em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook: Creative Ways to Put 'em Up, Tasty Ways to Use 'em Up

by Sherri Brooks Vinton


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This creative cookbook will inspire you to not only preserve summer’s fruit harvest, but use your homemade jams, jellies, and conserves in a host of sweet and savory dishes. Whip up a batch of peach jam and marinate shrimp kabobs in it overnight, or suspend grapefruit in lavender honey for an enticing custard topping. The flavors are fresh and contemporary and the instructions are thorough and easy to follow. Putting up — and serving up — the harvest has never been so delicious. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612120249
Publisher: Storey Books
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,192,840
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Sherri Brooks Vinton is the author of Put 'em Up!, Put 'em Up! Fruit, and The Put 'em Up! Preserving Answer Book. She is the founder of FarmFriendly LLC, which helps chefs, restaurateurs, and food organizations support local agriculture. She is a former governor of Slow Food USA and a member of the Chef’s Collaborative, Women’s Chefs and Restaurateurs, Northeast Organic Farmers Association, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.  

Read an Excerpt


Getting Started

I know that the fruit waits for no one, and if you are as impatient as I, you want to jump right into your next project. But take just a minute to look through this next section. It gives you some pointers for getting the best results, some definitions of terms used in the book, a little rundown of the processes we'll be using, and a troubleshooting guide to make sure we keep the train on the rails. That way we can make the most of your gorgeous produce and your time spent in the kitchen.

Your Keys to Success

Like the first Put 'em Up!, Put 'em Up! Fruit is arranged by produce item so that you can look up the food that you have in abundance quickly and easily, and then plan what you would like to do with it.

For each produce item, there are a number of preserving recipes that utilize a variety of techniques for extending the life of the food. Some are very simple and take only a few minutes to accomplish, while others are more what you might consider "project cooking," so you can pick the one that suits your day and tastes.

Each preserving recipe is accompanied by a "Use It Up!" recipe, a suggestion for using the preserve in your cooking. Many of these recipes can be used with a variety of preserves, so don't hesitate to mix and match the "Put 'em Up!" recipes with the "Use It Up!" recipes — there are endless combinations and I have listed some alternatives to try as well.

You can also try the "Use It Up!" recipes with preserves you have made using recipes from other books, preserved foods you have been gifted, or even those you have bought at the market. The "Use It Up!" recipes allow you to work with the preserved foods you have on hand in fun and creative ways.

Do not, however, make substitutions within "Put 'em Up!" recipes unless a recipe specifically notes that it is okay to do so. Home food preservation is not hard, but it is not very tolerant of improvisation. A jam recipe designed for one fruit may not give you good results when used with another. Some processes work really well with certain fruits but will give you abysmal results with other produce, so you can't always just trade apples for oranges.


The weights and volumes of produce and other ingredients have been carefully calculated to give you consistent, wholesome results. Use the measurements indicated, cut to the sizes indicated, and always add the ingredients to the pot in the order given. For reasons explained throughout the book, adding sugar and then berries will give you very different results than adding berries and then sugar, so try to stick to the playbook for consistent results.

That's not to say that you cannot make these recipes your own. The hand of the cook is very apparent in fruit preservation. I am sure that old hands can attest to the fact that every turn at the jam pot has made them that much more adept. If you're new to home food preservation, you will find your own style as you go. No matter your level of experience, the skill and attention you bring to your jam, jelly, infusion, or chutney will make every nibble and sip that much more delicious.


The first step to making any good-tasting preserve — or anything edible — is to start with excellent locally grown ingredients. Shop at a farmers' market or farm stand, or glean from your backyard or that of your neighbor (after begging "please" of course). Food destined for home food preservation should always come from as local a source as possible for peak ripeness and to minimize the amount of bacteria that will naturally develop from the time it leaves the farm until it is in the pot.

Buying directly from local growers also means that you will avoid the topical fungicides and waxes that are often applied to grocery store produce to extend its shelf life. Leaving aside the issue of whether these treatments are safe or not, food that has been treated will simply not be able to absorb the syrups and brines that often give preserved foods their flavor and keep them safe on the shelf. Untreated produce is best for preserving.

This book is organized by fruit so that, rather than finding a recipe you want to make and then searching for the ingredients to make it, you are free to respond to the market and what is in season, grabbing what looks good and putting it up. Not only does shopping this way guarantee that you are getting food that is of the best quality, but the sensory experience — enjoying the sights and smells of the harvest as it becomes available — is part of the fun. What's going in your canner this weekend? Well, only the most tempting, gorgeous things — the fruits that are so enticing you just can't stand the thought of passing them by. If you have your heart set on making something specific, say putting up many quarts of tomatoes, talk to your farmer about when they will be at their peak. Buy too early and you will be paying top dollar; too late and the fruit may be overripe. Work with your farmer to get fruit at its best and at its best price.

There is a misguided notion that food destined for preserving should be of inferior quality, and many canners look for "seconds" at the market — those items that aren't good enough to display and can be purchased for a discount. If this means that they just aren't pretty, that's fine, but badly damaged or rotting fruit is not. If you want wholesome, terrific-tasting preserves, you have to start with food that is already good enough to eat. No amount of simmering, freezing, or drying is going to resuscitate a gasping, half-dead thing back to vigor. And rotten food means food that has picked up a lot of bacteria — not a good place to start your preserving project.

When you are selecting fruit for preserving, look for produce that has been allowed to mature on the vine. These vine-and tree-ripened fruits will have the most flavor. Avoid overripened fruits, however, as their lower pectin levels can make it hard to achieve the desired gel stage. In fact, it's smart to include a portion of slightly underripe fruit in your preserving recipe. A good rule of thumb is that about 20 to 25 percent of the total volume of fruit should be a bit shy of full ripeness. Not green and immature, but strawberries with a bit of white shoulder showing and peaches that are still rather firm, for example, will have more pectin than fully ripened crops, making it easier to achieve a good gel.

Once you select your fruit, it should have a quick trip from harvest to processing. Some delicate fruits, such as hand-picked strawberries, will show signs of deterioration in as little as a day, even under refrigeration. Even hardier fruits, such as apples, will give you your best results if you preserve them soon after picking. For the best preserved foods, find lovely local things, buy them at their peak, and put 'em up!


• Secure locally produced foods directly from the grower or your own backyard.

• Avoid supermarket produce, which may have been treated with fungicides and protective waxes that interfere with the preserving process.

• Use only wholesome, fresh fruit.

• Include up to 25 percent slightly underripe fruit for the best textures and gelling qualities in your recipes.

• Process food soon after picking.


What's the difference between a compote, a conserve, and a preserve? While they all denote sweet fruit spreads, these terms have been used historically to indicate subtle differences in style and preparation. Modern cooks take a good bit of creative license with these terms. Tomato marmalade, for example, is something that I've seen more than once, but anything described as marmalade, technically speaking, should contain strips or bits of citrus peel in obvious profusion. Just sayin'. I've not run so grandly afoul of the culinary classifications, but I am probably guilty of bending the rules a bit myself. Although most preserved food spreads are ubiquitously labeled "preserves" and no one seems to be blushing at the error, here is a list of the terms and their meanings to use as you will.


In flavor, chutneys lie somewhere between preserves and pickles; even though they are often made with fruit as their main ingredient, they utilize vinegar for its preserving power. Chutneys are made with all kinds of fruits simmered with spices and savory flavorings such as garlic and onions. Some common ones include mango, tamarind, cilantro, and onion chutneys.


Compotes contain large pieces of fresh or dried fruit gently simmered in sugar syrup. In a compote, care is taken to maintain the shape of the fruit so that it remains intact and suspended in a clear liquid. The syrup can be a simple combination of water and sugar, or it can be flavored to enhance the taste of the fruit.


Chunkier than a preserve but not as full of whole fruit pieces as a compote, conserves are thick mixtures of fruit cooked gently in sugar syrup so that large pieces of fruit remain. Raisins or nuts are frequently added to conserves.


Sweet and creamy, curds are spreads made with eggs, butter, and citrus juice. Curds can be a challenge to master as they require precise attention to the quality of ingredients, cooking times, and temperatures. Although the most popular flavor is lemon, lime and orange curds are equally delicious.


Fruit cheeses are nondairy pastes made out of fruit, lemon juice, and sugar that have been cooked down to a very dense texture. When cooled, they should be firm enough to be sliced with a knife.


Gastriques are pungent vinegar-based sauces that are heavily reduced to take on a thick, syrupy texture. The base of the gastrique is a combination of vinegar and sugar that is cooked down and used as a canvas for a featured flavoring such as berries or citrus juice. Because of their intense flavors, gastriques are used in small amounts to accent the flavor of dishes.


Typically made with vinegar or a high-alcohol spirit, infusions take on the flavor of a featured fruit, vegetable, spice, or herb. The flavoring agent is submerged in the base liquid and allowed to steep until it has "infused" the liquid with flavor.


Probably the most popular fruit preserve, jams are sweet spreads made with mashed fruit or fruit that has been cooked until it has fallen apart. Jams rely on either natural or added pectin to achieve a gelled consistency that is thick enough for a spoonful of the spread to hold its shape.


Sweet, clear spreads made from fruit juice alone, jellies are firmer in texture than jam but not as firm as fruit cheese or paste.


What makes ketchup, ketchup? In my view, it's the familiar combination of flavors and spices that support the fruit in a smooth, pourable sauce. While we most often associate ketchup with tomatoes, other fruits, used with a similar range of spices found in the typical version, can offer subtle twists on this familiar condiment.


Typically made out of fruit, leathers are dried sheets of puréed produce. The purée can be lightly sweetened, and then it is spread out on a flat surface to dehydrate. Leathers are typically eaten as a snack but can be used in recipes that call for dried fruit.


Add sweetener to a spirit infusion and you have a liqueur. They are often potent and, as such, are served in small amounts, typically after a meal.


Marmalades are thick spreads made from seeded citrus fruit. The peel, which is sliced thinly, minced, or shredded, is a necessary element, bringing both texture and flavor to the spreads. Because of the high pectin level of citrus fruits, marmalades can be made without added thickeners. Simply sugar and fruit cooked down to a gel will give a lively marmalade.


Fruits or vegetables that have been acidified to prolong their shelf life are called pickles. Two kinds of pickles are featured in this book. Vinegar pickles, such as Sweet Pickled Plums (page 206), use bottled vinegar to help cure the fruit. Lacto-fermented pickles, such as Pickled Grape Leaves (page 150), create their own preserving liquid. In this case, the leaves are submerged in a salt solution and allowed to ferment, creating the lactic acid that preserves them.


The word "preserve" is often used to describe any fruit that has been cured to protect its flavor and texture. However, it does have a specific definition, which is fruit that has been cooked into a thick spread, with large pieces of fruit suspended in a gelled syrup.


A purée is a slightly thickened sauce that has been mashed or blended to a smooth consistency.


While often thought of as a pickled cucumber condiment for topping hamburgers and hot dogs, relish can be made with any fruit or vegetable. It contains uniformly cut pieces that retain shape and texture when cooked and are suspended in a flavored sauce.


Salsa is the Spanish word for "sauce." Although we may think of it as a red dip for tortilla chips, the term can actually be applied to a wide range of piquant sauces that can be smooth or quite chunky and that utilize fruits and vegetables equally.


Vinegars are fermented liquids. Natural bacteria have acted on these liquids, such as wine or apple juice, to digest their natural sugars and convert them into acetic acid. Any fruit juice can be converted into a vinegar as long as the beneficial bacteria are allowed to propagate.

Preserving Pointers

Food preservation is one of my favorite types of cooking. The intersection of craft and science is fascinating — harnessing microbes for fermentation, watching a jam pot full of fruit and sugar set up into a spreadable delight — these processes are magical. Here are pointers that explain the mechanics of preserving. A peek behind the curtain, so to speak, that takes some of the mystery out of the process of preserving fruit.


If you can boil water, you can can your own food. The most popular method of canning, also known as the boiling-water method, requires very little specialized equipment and can be done in as little as 10 minutes.


To can the recipes in this book, you will need only two specialized items: canning jars — the thick glass jars with two-piece lids (like Ball and Kerr jars) — and a set of canning tongs (you cannot substitute regular tongs). You can get these things at your local mom-and-pop hardware store, or you can order them online. Grocery stores often carry them as well. The canning jars are important — the extra-thick glass keeps them from breaking during processing, and the two-piece lid helps form a vacuum seal that keeps your food safe on the shelf. The special design of the tongs allows you to move the jars into and out of the boiling water safely and easily.

To can your preserves, you will also need the following common kitchen items:

* A LARGE POT WITH A LID. Your pot must be at least 3 inches taller than the tallest jar you will be using, but it does not need to be a canner. Any pasta pot, stockpot, or lobster pot will do.

* A FALSE BOTTOM FOR THE POT. You will need something that will raise the jars up off the bottom of the pot to allow boiling water to circulate beneath the jars. This can be a canning rack, a cake cooling rack, or even a layer of the rings that come with the canning jars.

* A "BUBBLE TOOL." A thin, non-metallic tool, such as a plastic knife, wooden skewer, or chopstick, allows you to remove trapped air bubbles from your filled jars without scratching the inside of the glass.

* A CANNING FUNNEL OR SMALL LADLE. With either utensil, you can neatly fill your jars. If you don't have a canning funnel, you can cut the bottom off a regular plastic funnel to get a v-shaped cone that will help you fill your jars.

* A LID LIFTER. This magnet-tipped plastic wand is used to lift lids, one at a time, out of their bowl of hot water. You can use rubber-tipped tongs to do the job, or quickly reach in with your fingers if you dare. Just be careful to avoid scratching the lids' white coating, which would expose the metal and could lead to rust during storage.

* A NONREACTIVE POT FOR PREPARING YOUR RECIPE. All recipes that use the boiling-water method to preserve them have an acidic pH. This acid is necessary to keep your food safe on the shelf. It can also interact with the pot in which you prepare your recipe. Reactive metals such as aluminum and uncoated cast iron can leach minerals into the food, discoloring it and giving it a metallic taste. For the best results, use a nonreactive pan or pot made of enamel-coated cast iron or stainless steel when preparing food for canning.


Excerpted from "Put 'em Up! Fruit"
by .
Copyright © 2013 Sherri Brooks Vinton.
Excerpted by permission of Storey Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Part One: Getting Started

Your Keys to Success


Preserving Pointers


Part Two: Recipes



Blackberries & Raspberries


















What People are Saying About This

Kim O'Donnel

“The Put’em Up Queen does it again – and how!With her new collection, Sherri continues to inspire us all to keep the spirit of preserving alive, then use up what we put up at supper, snacktime and cocktail hour.My heart goes ping ping for Put 'em Up! Fruit.”

Gary Nabhan

“SherriBrooks Vinton's books are the finest, most aptly-detailed guides to food preservation that I know and use. As an orchard-keeper and fruit canner, the release of this new volume excites me to no end, because it is exactly what I need to move my own practice and business along. When I die, I don't want cremated, or buried, I want someone to "put me up" using one of Sherri's recipes...”

cookbook author; founder of Canning Across America Kim O'Donnel

“The Put’em Up Queen does it again – and how!With her new collection, Sherri continues to inspire us all to keep the spirit of preserving alive, then use up what we put up at supper, snacktime and cocktail hour.My heart goes ping ping for Put 'em Up! Fruit.”

Sean Timberlake

“In the DIY food community, Sherri Brooks Vinton's Put 'Em Up! has become one of the great go-to books for home food preservation. With Put 'Em Up! Fruit, Vinton dives deeper, offering diverse ways to preserve all manner of fruit, then goes further to provide compelling, complementary ideas on how to take your homemade goods from the jar to the plate. You'll never go hungry for inspiration for an open jar in your fridge again.”

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Put 'em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook: Creative Ways to Put 'em Up, Tasty Ways to Use 'em Up 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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What r u hiding?