Yes You Can

Autumn in New England is the time to harvest nature’s bounty, but what to do with all of that wonderfully ripe fruit? Robin Cohen, of Arlington-based Doves and Figs, gives us a step-by-step guide to creating apple-cranberry preserves that can be enjoyed all year long.


Photograph by Scott M. Lacey

1. Gather Your Ingredients

A pick-your-own farm is a great place to get tree-ripened apples. For this recipe you’ll need three-and-a-half cups of them, peeled, cored, and chopped; one-and-a-half cups of cranberries; one-third cup of orange juice; one cup of water; two-and-a-half cups of sugar; a quarter cup of golden raisins; two tablespoons of lemon juice; and one cinnamon stick.

2. Equip Your Kitchen

You’ll need at least two big pots and several small mason jars with bands and new sealing lids, usually available at the supermarket.

3. Get Cooking

In a large pot over medium heat, cook everything but the apples until the cranberries soften and pop (about 10 minutes). Add the apples and stir until they soften.

4. Reduce and Simmer

Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, constantly stirring. When it’s so thick that it slowly drips off a room-temperature spoon like honey, turn down the heat and remove the cinnamon stick.

5. Prep Your Containers

Wash all of your canning equipment in hot, soapy water; rinse thoroughly; and then submerge the jars and lids in simmering water for a few minutes. Place the bands on a clean towel; keep the jars and lids hot until they are ready to be filled.

6. Pour and Cap

Fill each hot jar with hot preserves, leaving a quarter inch at the top free. Then wipe the rim of the jar. Place the sealing lid on top and screw the band over it, taking care not to overtighten.

7. Seal the Jars

When all of your jars are filled and capped, submerge them in boiling water for 15 minutes and then let them cool on a clean cloth for 12 hours.

8. Personalize the Batch

Give your work an extra-special touch by hand-labeling the jars.

9. Enjoy

Fold the preserves into Greek yogurt, spread them on toast, or use them as a garnish for lamb and chicken. You can also stuff spoonfuls into phyllo dough to make tartlets.