Preserving Know-how/ Winter

Celebratory Treats

Celebratory Treats

This is the season for special treats. Whether it’s Christmas day, a holiday party or bringing in the New Year, there are many reasons to celebrate. My recent preserving adventures have led to some wonderful new recipes.

Raspberry-Rhubarb Juice with Prosecco

My daughter-in-law created this special cocktail using the raspberry-rhubarb juice I made in the spring and summer. Think of this a pink Mimosa; pretty, festive, and delicious.  You can always use POM or raspberry juice as well. For a non-alcoholic version, replace Prosecco with sparkling water. For extra panache, drop in a fresh raspberry.

Cranberry Port Conserve with Walnuts

I recently made this recipe created by Topp & Howard. A conserve almost always includes nuts and often citrus. This is outstanding and would be a great accompaniment to turkey, chicken, or capon but also with ham, duck or beef.

4 cups cranberries 2 cups sugar

¼ cup Port ½ cup finely chopped orange peel

1/3 cup raisins ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Combine cranberries, sugar, and Port in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until cranberries pop. Add orange peel and raisins. Reduce heat and cook for about 15 minutes until a light gel point is reached. Remove from heat and stir in nuts. For long-term storage, process in a water bath or atmospheric steam canner for 10 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before removing from canner.

However you celebrate, enjoy the season. All the best for the holidays and Happy New Year.

For more information:

Tarts: The Finishing Touch

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I love making small French-style tarts using my preserves. A couple of weeks ago I made tarts using my preserved pears, maple roasted rhubarb, apple sauce, and, of course, pear mincemeat (pictured here). In a recent Jamie Oliver show, he used ready-made tart shells and lined them with raspberry jam and topped them with a light meringue baked to golden colour. Tarts are easy, flexible and are part of any celebratory meal. I usually use a pate brisee for the crust but for the gluten free in my family, I searched for a recipe that would work. I adapted this pastry recipe from by Claire Tansey’s in her book called “Uncomplicated”. She calls this forgiving pastry and it is. It can be rolled out many times without getting tough. It also lasts well and is flavourful. The gluten-free version is very good.


  • 1.5 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (or regular flour)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ½ cup cream cheese cold and cubed
  • ½ cup butter cold and cubed



Combine flour and salt in food processor. Pulse to combine. Add cream cheese and butter and process until the dough comes together in a ball.  Wrap in plastic and chill for at least ½ an hour. Roll out or freeze this pastry for future use. Be creative using your own preserves from the panty.



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