The Joys of Jewish Preserving & Cranberry Applesauce
Photo: Leigh Olson

The Joys of Jewish Preserving & Cranberry Applesauce

The Joys of Jewish Preserving, a new guide to hanging onto the best of the season’s harvest, is an inspiration for those who well, just can’t let it go.

If you love those stacks of ruddy apples at your farmers’ markets, buy a load of ‘em now and make easy Cranberry Applesauce (recipe below) for your Chanukah latkes or Thanksgiving dressing. 

Can’t get enough of those glossy rainbow hued sweet peppers? Grill them and toss with end of season tomatoes and enough garlic to ward off the winter blues with authentic Moroccan matbucha.

Emily Paster’s cookbook is a love story to global Jewish cuisines and to home preservation. The two marry seamlessly as she refers to ingredients and traditions of those living in the shtetls of Poland and Russia and those enjoying the abundance of Sephardic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ingredients.

kosher North African preserved lemon
Photo: Leigh Olson

Paster weaves it all together as she shares her love of Biblical fruits, her time learning about Sephardic cooking with a French family during her college years, and the many home cooks in her family who expressed their love through enthusiastic noshing together.

Her tales of Great- Grandma Bessie’s care packages of cheese blintzes topped with homemade jams and her grandpa’s pickled green tomatoes, makes the story both personal and universal. For anyone who ever yearns for that strawberry rhubarb jam your Polish grandma simmered (ME ME ME!)  Paster makes it easy for both newcomers to home preservation and those with more canning experience.

kosher fig apple raisin jam
Photo: Leigh Olson

I love the way Paster moves the reader through the seasonal Jewish calendar, with recipes for Dried Fig, Apple and Raisin Jam utilizing dried fruit for a sweet mid-winter treat once most fresh fruit is off the market.

On the savory side, Paster walks us through pickling it all: cukes, onions, black radishes, Damson plums, green tomatoes, beets, eggplants, carrots and more. The fun part is her head notes, rich with storytelling and history.

kosher pickled cauliflower
Photo: Leigh Olson

About Syrian Pickled Cauliflower she wrote, “ Pickled cauliflower might be new to you, but it is a common breakfast food in Israel, along with cheese, hummus, labneh (yogurt cheese), pita bread, and crunchy salads of cucumbers and tomatoes. Like pickled turnips, pickled cauliflower is a staple of Middle Eastern meze spreads. It is a particular specialty of Syrian Jews, who are famous for their culinary prowess…

After leading her readers from history to safety procedures and techniques, through a wonderland of fruits and vegetables, Paster finishes with a chapter of classics called “Use your Preserves; Recipes to Showcase your Homemade Jam and Pickles”.

kosher jams and rugellach
Photo: Leigh Olson

Should you make it to this grand finale without wide-eyed wonder about the array of preserved, pickled, jellied and conserved, you’ll be drooling over the sexy photos showing you how to enjoy the fruits (and pickles) of your labor. Cream Cheese Rugelach, Chocolate Babka with Jam, Sweet Potato Latkes topped with Cranberry Applesauce (recipe below) are all there for you to shmear your preserved goods on, over and in.

And YES! Paster includes the recipe for her Great-Grandma Bessie’s Cheese Blintzes, the ones Bessie sent Emily Paster’s parents home with, uncooked and wrapped in waxed paper for future noshings.


Watch for our give-away of one copy of The Joys of Jewish Preserving; Modern Recipes with Traditional Roots, for Jams, Pickles, Fruit Butters, and More- For Holidays and Every Day, by Emily Paster.


All photos by Leigh Olson. Recipe and photos used with permission c/o Harvard Common Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group.



    • Hi Beth- Best to ask your farmer which apples they prefer for sauce as some break down more easily than others. Preserving will allow you to keep multiple jars, unrefrigerated,for about one year so it’s really worth it. If you check out Emily’s book, she makes it easy. If you prefer to make applesauce and not preserve, just keep in your refridge and use it within 7-10 days. I have found, though, that mold grows quickly in my jars of sauce so I’m going to switch gears and preserve this time.

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