These condiments employ some of the oldest known preserving techniques, salting and pickling, and are mainly for savory uses. Although many enjoy them on ice cream or in cocktails, my Dark Cherries in Merlot Syrup are superb with lamb, duck or fine cheese, and my Grandmother’s Spiced Crab Apples are updated to taste better than I remember, good enough to use year-round with any manner meat or cheese.

Seasoning with fruits preserved in salt is a centuries-old tradition in cuisines from Japan and India to North Africa. In Morocco perfumed local lemons are salt-cured and used in their traditional tagines–stews cooked in clay pots with distinctive conical lids–especially lamb stew and the classic chicken with olives. I now use them in marinades, soups and salads, to flavor a pot of beans, sautéed greens like spinach or chard, hummus, on bread with olive oil and garlic, with roasted peppers and olives, in couscous or rice pilaf, under the skin of a roast chicken or in the cavity of a fish.

Traditionally a section is removed from the jar, washed and steeped in a dish during cooking but not necessarily eaten. When using mine I find everything in the jar is edible--pith, peel, fruit and brine. Just use less. Chop fine or use a garlic press to mash the fruit, then add it directly to the dish. A couple of teaspoons is usually enough.

For a basic seasoning, add 1 teaspoon to 1/4 cup olive oil, with 1/2 garlic clove and 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Puree or combine in mortar and pestle. Use as a marinade for steak, chicken, fish, drizzle on bread or sauteed greens, on soups or salads.

Download Salt-preserved Citrus recipes: 
Salt Preserved Citrus (Salt_Preserved.pdf 103k)


Dark Cherry Champagne

Salt-Preserved Meyer Lemon

Meyer lemons are a good stand-in for the lemons of North Africa, scented, sweet and thin-skinned. Cured with bay leaves and the faint perfume of citrus blossoms. Use anywhere you'd add salt--in marinades, on vegetables, in dips, soups, salads, rice or grain dishes. Chop fine or use a garlic press to mash the fruit and it's easy to add a salty citrus punch to any dish
8 oz.

Ingredients: Meyer lemons, kosher salt, herbs

Salt-Preserved Meyer Lemon: See it being made!
View the gallery

Download Salt-Preserved Meyer Lemon Recipes:
Salt-Preserved Meyer Lemon Recipes (PDF)

Dark Cherries in Merlot Syrup: Fancy Food Show Gold-Award Winner!

Everyone's favorite, dark cherries are paired with fruity merlot wine and ambrosial hints of raspberry, scented geranium, galangal root, bergamot, black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla and bay. For sheer complexity of flavors this is my most interesting product. Enjoy with pork, duck, game hens, quail, beef or lamb–deglaze your pan with some syrup and stock to make a sauce.

Serve on the plate like a pickle or chutney, or in a little bowl on the side with a spoon for the syrup, which is every bit as good as the fruit. Coat a champagne flute with syrup, fill and drop in a cherry. Great with cheese, or just spoon a few over good vanilla ice cream! Note: fruit fills the jars when raw but shrinks in processing, adding their juice to the syrup. Not pitted.

Ingredients: whole cherries, wine, sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, herbs & spices
8 oz.

Dark Cherries in Merlot Syrup: See it being made!

Spiced Crab Apples - RETIRED

Considering their ubiquity 50 years ago it is stunning how completely Spiced Crab Apples disappeared from the American diet, a victim of the death of home canning and commercial versions with lurid red coloring and no flavor. They became a joke, then forgotten. My farm visits are now mostly in summer and too early for apple anything, but occasionally there will be Whitney crab apples, a reminder of the pickles my grandmother made from them. A few years back I decided to revive this tradition.

I had Grandma’s recipe but knew I'd have to improve on it to withstand the impossible perfection of memory. First I took out the water and added apple juice, then some favorite spices. One Farmer's Market customer was reduced to tears; "I haven't had these since my grandmother died 50 years ago!" Here is your chance to renew old memories or make new ones. Enjoy with cheese or main course meats, pork, ham, turkey. For the novice: you will place them on the side of your plate and pick them up to eat them off the core as you would any apple.

Ingredients: crab apples, apple juice, sugar, cider vinegar, spices.
16 oz., 1 pt.

Want to make them? Find the recipe here (PDF)

Sour Cherry Jam

One of the dependable highlights of the annual cycle of preserving at my grandparent’s farm when I was growing up was the arrival of the 30 pound tins of sour cherries from nearby Door County. These would be decanted to quart canning jars and sealed to provide us with filling for the coming year’s cherry pies.

I have long sought a source for this fruit to make this jam for my customers and have finally found one, these from Michigan, straight across the lake from Door County. Dark cherries eaten fresh, out of hand are one of the pleasures of summer, but for me sour cherries are the real thing-a tart, bright full fruit flavor that stands up to sugar and holds its own in baking or preserving. They need little help here, but for some fine Kirsch eau-de-vie, a touch of almond extract and a Madagascar vanilla bean thrown into the pot.

Ingredients: Sour cherries, cane sugar, unsweetened sour cherry juice, kirsch, almond extract, vanilla.
8 oz.


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