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They Call Me “Bon Papa”

Finished Product

Bon Papa Brand Confiture

The wonderful cherry harvest was finally drawing to a close, and we had stuffed ourselves with as much of the fruit as possible before the rain the birds got to it. There still clung a few precious bundles of sweet fruit, and after three weeks of nearly daily visits to the cherry grove, I still wasn’t ready to surrender back to nature what remained of the year’s bounty.

After a few too many cherries eaten by the handful, eaten in pies, and in Clafoutis all over the village, there was still one rock left to uncover… Confiture.

The cherry harvest only lasts for a few weeks in the spring when there are literally more cherries than anyone can or would care to eat. Then, winter comes and the trees are bare- not a cherry to be seen for a few months at least. So, in just about every French home you will find a cave or a cupboard literally packed with amazing confitures, sirops, jellies, and preserves. In this way the amazing variety and surplus of fruit projects from warm spring and summer days, stores over the winter.

The were fruit trees all over the village unattended and full of ripe fruit. After the cherries, came the cassis and groseilles. Then, raspberries, and just recently the blackberries are growing into their name. Once word got out that there was ‘free labor’ available I had invites all over the village to come harvest what fruits I wanted, and I brewed up confitures of all colors. I started joking around the village that no one would need to buy Bonne Maman (local brand) anymore since I was around to fill up their old jam jars with fresh, organic, home-made, and super-delicious confiture of my own…

Now they call me Bon Papa.

Confiture is actually amazingly simple to make and doesn’t require and special equipment as canning does nor any of the elevated risks of improperly preserved foods. Simply wash the fruit well, cook over low heat until it is slightly soft and then add about 800g of sugar for ever 1000g of fruit. If you want to make jelly or remove pits and skins from the fruit, you can pass it through a vegetable mill and then add the sugar to the resulting juice. Then cook over low heart until the mixture begins to thicken, and add to sterilized jars while it’s still hot.

That’s it. Get out there and hit the local woods- those blackberries are waiting for the pickin’.

2 Comments

  1. […] Also, a few days later and trying to salvage what remained of the now over-ripe and bird eaten crop, I took my first try at some Confiture and Jelly Making. […]

  2. […] Also, Cherry Picking occupied much of my time in late May and early June, and I’ve thrown together some thoughts about those experiences as well, including, Clafoutis and Confiture. […]

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