Let's talk about your stash. You know which one I mean. All those pickles, tomatoes, jams, and preserves that you so painstakingly "put up" at the end of last summer—or were gifted by well-meaning friends—and that are still lingering in the cupboard at the start of this new canning season.
It's not that you don't want to delight in these preserved goods. You do! It's just that... they're so precious, right? You want to save them for a special occasion, right? Or maybe, just maybe, there's only so much toast with heirloom fruit jam that you can eat, right?
Well, my friend Marisa McClellan, a.k.a. the Canning Queen, just came out with a brand new cookbook to help us all with our canned goods dilemma. The Food in Jars Kitchen is allllll about using up those pickles and preserves that we've stocked away.
A Cookbook For Cooks and Canners
Whether you're a newbie canner or have been at the canning game for years, I think this is a book you will find very useful. It moves beyond (way beyond!) simply relegating jam to toast and tomatoes to pasta.
Here, we get jam swirled into cocktails or baked into granola. We get hummus made with preserved lemons and party dips made with chutney and pesto. Wondering what you can do with sauerkraut besides piling it on sausages? Marisa's got a frittata that you HAVE to try.
The point is, this is a cookbook that will inspire, encourage, and cajole you into using up your canned goods stash. And trust me—after you see these recipes, you will!
Also let me be clear, this cookbook isn't just for canners. One of the things I love about this book is that you can make any of the recipes using preserves that you've been gifted, picked up at the farmers market, or bought at the store.
Let's Talk Marmalade Cake
I had a very hard time picking just one recipe to share with you all, but this cake took the, ahem...cake. In her headnote for the recipe, Marisa says that she made six of these cakes to serve at her wedding, and after making it myself, I can see why.
This cake is moist and rich—but not so rich that you couldn't take it to work as a perfectly respectable afternoon snack. The citrus flavor is just amazing, soft, and so very pleasant, like waking up from a good nap and feeling the afternoon sunshine on your face.
I really like the glaze that gets brushed over the top and sides. It turns the outside edges of each slice candy-like and adds the perfect burst of sweetness to each bite.
Store this cake right on the counter and cut yourself a slice whenever the need arises. It keeps well for about a week and gets even better with time. Marisa also says the cake freezes well—the recipe makes two, and I froze my second loaf for another day.
A Q&A with Marisa McClellan!
I thought you all would enjoy getting to know Marisa a little better, so here's a little Q&A! Her blog, for those of you who don't know, is Food in Jars, and it's a treasure trove of canning inspiration.
- How many canned goods do you think you currently have in your kitchen?
If we expand the question to include my entire apartment, the answer is probably something in the neighborhood of 250 full jars. That includes jams, pickles, chutneys, salsas, whole fruit, pie filling, tomato products, and even pressure canned beans and stocks.
- What canned goods do you make sure to re-stock every year?
Roasted corn salsa. Sour cherry jam. Apricot preserves. Tomato jam. Pickled green beans.
- What summer produce are you most excited about coming back in season?
Apricots. They bring me incredible amounts of joy.
- What's your secret most-favorite recipe from Food in Jars Kitchen?
My most beloved recipe is the Quick Strudel. It comes from my Great Aunt Doris, and I love the feeling of generational connection that making it gives me. Plus, Aunt Doris would have been so incredibly thrilled to have had her recipe in a cookbook. If she was still alive, she'd be selling copies of this book out of the back of her Buick to all the ladies at the synagogue.
- You've now written, what, FOUR books about or related to canning—what about canning do you love? What keeps you coming back for more?
I know. It's a little crazy that I've essentially spent the last decade digging into a single topic. But I really do find it endlessly fascinating. And the thing I most love about canning is that it is a cooking project that endures.
When we make a meal, that experience lasts 20 or 30 minutes before the pleasure is done and you are start thinking about how you have to do it again. With canning, you get to relive the joy of the picking, gathering, and making over and over again. There is deep satisfaction in that.
Thank you, Marisa! And on that lovely note, I encourage you all to make this Marmalade Cake. It's really sure to become a favorite.
Want to try canning? Here are some recipes!
Marmalade Pound Cake
From Marisa McClellan: "When Scott and I were planning our wedding, one of the things I was really clear on was that I wanted to bake our dessert. We did not have the budget to buy an exceptional cake, and I was not willing to serve lackluster cake to our friends and family. And so, in the days before our big day, I baked a dozen cakes. Half were loaves of this pound cake, and the remaining six were Flourless Chocolate Cake. A decade later, my in-laws still mention our delicious wedding cakes whenever I see them. It was well worth the work!"
Recommended Preserves: Marmalade. Any kind. If it’s really thick-cut, consider dicing the big hunks of peel before stirring into the batter.
Note: I find that these cakes improve with age. If you can manage it, bake them at least a day or two before serving. They also freeze beautifully, if left unglazed.
Reprinted with permission from THE FOOD IN JARS KITCHEN © 2019 by Marisa McClellan, Running Press
- 1 1/2 cups (340 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pans
- 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 1/2 cups (495 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest, from 2 large oranges
- 8 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) marmalade
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For the glaze:
- 3/4 cup (85 g) powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) marmalade
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
Preheat your oven to 325°F
Butter and lightly flour two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans. (Alternatively, line your pans with a parchment paper sling and spray all sides with cooking spray.)
Make the batter
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest together for 3 to 4 minutes, or until fluffy.
Break the eggs into a spouted measuring cup. With the mixer running on a moderate speed, add the eggs, one at a time. When the eggs are incorporated, add the marmalade and vanilla and beat them in.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix just until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, as needed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir a few times to ensure that the flour from the edges of the bowl and any runnier batter from the bottom are all blended in.
Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and smooth the tops. Place on a baking sheet (to make it easier to move them around). Bake the cakes for 35 minutes.
When the time is up, rotate the pans 180° so that the cakes bake evenly. Continue to bake until a cake tester comes out mostly clean from the center of a cake (a few crumbs are okay), another 30 to 35 minutes.
While the cakes bake, prepare the glaze:
In a small pan, combine the powdered sugar, marmalade, and water. Place over medium heat and warm until everything melts together.
Cool and glaze the cakes
Remove the pans from the oven and place them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove the cakes from the pans.
Set them, top-side up, on the rack and spoon the glaze over the warm cakes. Use a brush to glaze the sides of the cakes. Keep spooning and brushing until all the glaze has been distributed over the cakes.
Let them cool completely before serving.