Starred Review by Publishers Weekly
The latest installment from the venerable editors at America’s Test Kitchen, which focuses on one of the oldest methods for preserving food, lives up to the high standards the authors have set for themselves. A thoughtful mix of standards (concord grape jelly, mango chutney, bread and butter pickles, basic kimchi, etc.) are met with equal amounts of tasty riffs such as raspberry chocolate and peach-bourbon jam, mulled cider jelly, sweet zucchini pickle chips, and DIY whole grain mustard. The process of canning and preserving is essentially a scientific one with no room for deviation due to health concerns (and there’s a useful FAQ for panicked canners, should problems arise), so each key step is accompanied by photographs, leaving no room for doubt on the part of the reader. The authors have crafted an engaging guide that is thoughtfully organized and artfully presented, showing how to prepare blood orange marmalade, pickle red onions, or prep cabbage for sauerkraut. Like previous efforts, this one has the expected recommendations for picking the best canning pots and outfitting the kitchen, and the text offers encouragement without becoming preachy. New initiates to food preservation will find this an essential kitchen companion, and even veteran canners will find some useful tips and new recipes.
—Publishers Weekly, April 2016
Starred Review by Library Journal
The America’s Test Kitchen team takes on the subject of small-batch preserving, paying meticulous attention to the equipment, supplies, ingredients, and processes that will ensure success. Unlike traditional large-batch preserving, most of the recipes call for two pounds or less of ingredients, with a yield of about two cups. The dishes are divided into sections covering “Sweet Jams and Jellies,” “Savory Jams and Chutneys,” “Pickles,” “Tomatoes Year-Round,” “Fruit in Syrup,” and “Condiments and Fruit Butters.” Introductory chapters address the science of canning, the steps of the process, troubleshooting, and equipment. Many recipes include a helpful “How To Use” box for cooks who like the sound of mulled cider jelly or fig-pomegranate jam but could use suggestions for ways to consume the final product. Numerous fine photos guarantee that readers will not be left guessing what it looks like when a spatula leaves a distinct trail through cooking jam or how much flesh to scrape from to-be pickled watermelon rind.
VERDICT: An exceptional resource for novice canners, though preserving veterans will find plenty here to love as well.
—Library Journal, April 1, 2016