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December 11, 2014



Hi Bertrand, I'm posting this without having read the full article :) but, with regards to the way the cherries are prepared and the possibility of mould, if you do the following, you can reduce the possibility of mould.
Put on some protective gloves :)
Sterilise the jars and lids in boiling water, do this while the cherries are cooking.
While the jars are still very hot and the jam is very hot and steaming, fill the jars right up with the cooked cherries, leaving an airspace of about 6mm.
Put a disk of greaseproof paper on top of the jam and press gently to give full contact (cut disks beforehand to suit the inside diameter of the jar, as best you can).
Immediately the jars are filled, put the lid on quickly. As the jam cools any water vapour in the headspace of the jar will condense, causing the lid to be 'sucked' down by the resulting partial vacuum.
The possibility of mould forming is greatly reduced, due to the sterilisation process which eliminates spores and the (almost) absence of air due to the partial vacuum.

Alain Cauchie

Salut Bertrand, nous avons vu la page sur Evesham Wood, et d'autres, c'est très intéressant. La qualité des photos n'est pas étrangère au succès de ton blog. A bientôt, bonne continuation.
Alain & Seon-ja

Paul Roberts

Merci, Bertrand — as usual, thoughtfully done. In my tasting room, I gingerly advise the East Coast Americans who appear a bit freaked by truly dry, acidic natural wines (being used to the typical gimmickry of California or Australian "dry" wines) that we are all born appreciating two tastes: sweet and bitter. Mother's milk, of course, is the almost perfect combination, but, in general, sweet is far easier to cultivate and appreciate. "Bitterness" is obviously related to acidity, and with our country's prevalence of sugar-dosed, processed foods, few Americans are challenged to exercise their minds along those lines. So, many have a hard time enjoying dry Eastern (and European) wines. Americans as a whole are regressing — more infantile in recent generations, despite glaring exceptions in our urban centers of haute cuisine. This is shown by the fact that old apple and pear orchards, planted in the early 20th century, always had a few inter-planted quince trees. The first time I encountered a quince tree in an ancient Pennsylvania orchard, in about 1990, I thought it was some heirloom apple variety. Yet, apple pie recipes, as recently as the mid-20th century, usually recommended the addition of quince. They're now literally rare in U.S. orchards.


Hi Paul,

Great to learn that, these inter-planted quince trees in orchards you spotted in Pennsylvania are indeed a testimony about our elders' wisdom, like the surviving sour-cherry trees over here, or the older varieties of apple trees. I didn't know about the apple-pie recipes including some quince in the early 20th century
In France I suspect some people cut the old-variety apple trees in their garden because the fruits look "unappealing" and they buy "modern" varieties in gardening supermarkets instead as a replacement. But I'm confident determined persons do a lot to convince the rest of the population of the importance of these fruits, I think to the "Croqueurs de Pommes" ( http://croqueurs-national.fr/ ) for example, a non-profit group who promotes keeping, tending and replanting ancient apple-tree varieties. Kokopelli is also doing a great job on the vegetables/seeds side ( http://kokopelli-semences.fr/qsn/presentation_de_kokopelli ).
Thanks for your contribution;

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