Fruit Combinations that Make Great Marmalades and Preserves

list of fruit combinations that work well when making marmalades and preserves
Source: American Cookery (May, 1919)

I can’t imagine making marmalade or preserves without a recipe. But a hundred years ago, cooks apparently were more adventuresome than me.  In 1919, American Cookery magazine contained this list of great fruit combinations for marmalades and preserves, but the cook was left to figure out how to actually make them.

22 thoughts on “Fruit Combinations that Make Great Marmalades and Preserves

  1. Some of these sound good. But seeing gooseberries on the list reminds me how hard they are to find in the UK now, unless you grow them yourself. Is that true of the States too?

    1. Yes, gooseberries are hard to find here, too. Several of the fruits listed in this article are really difficult to find. There are lots of century-old quince recipes, and I’ve been looking for quinces for years so that I can try some of them – but so far I’ve failed to find any.

  2. I saw an article recently that said famous chefs do a disservice to readers if they don’t explain alternative ingredients, flexible cooking approaches and such. I guess our ancestors were good at winging it.

    1. I never thought about it quite this way, but it makes a lot of sense that cooks would benefit if chefs and cookbook authors explained how to use alternative ingredients.

  3. Strawberry-rhubarb! I just remembered strawberry-rhubarb pie and jam. Another I like is blueberry-lime, but I suspect limes weren’t so readily available a century ago.

    1. Strawberry-rhubarb is a lovely classic combination. Until I read your comment, I’d never heard of blueberry-lime pie, but now I want to try it. It sounds wonderful.

  4. Both currants and gooseberries serve as alternate hosts to a rust disease (another import!) that is harmful to white pines, and because of this many states have bans on their cultivation. Most states have lifted their total bans and allow their cultivation in select areas. Vermont has no restrictions, and we see them regularly now, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of any actual enforcement in grandmother’s gooseberry patch!

    1. I grew up in Pennsylvania, and have a vague memory of my parents talking about this ban. Your comment led me to google, “gooseberries Pennsylvania ban.” This search led me to a Penn State webpage which says that the ban is no longer enforced in that state.

      1. It seems to be left to the states now, and I doubt there is much enforcement. I’m sure if an area had a centralized problem, then extension agents would work to help solve it. So many imported invasives!

    1. Like you, I don’t make preserves very often. I’ve made a couple recipes for this blog, but I find that my husband and I don’t eat jam, jellys, and other preserves very often.

    1. I think that people back then often had “rules of thumb” that helped them remember directions – things like 1:1:1 where the same amount of all ingredients were used or 1:2 there twice as much of one ingredient was used as compared to another ingredient.

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