The cookbook from France's 'Jam Fairy' is still in print

Mes ConfituresHave you ever read a story about a chef, restaurant, or tiny shop, enamored by descriptions of dazzling foods, and gleefully discover at the end of the article that you can buy a cookbook by the chef or artisan? Knowing this crowd, I'd bet the answer to that question is 'of course!' Nevertheless, it's always exciting when it happens, and it occurred for me today when I read the story on NUVO about Christine Ferber, known in France - and beyond - as 'The Jam Fairy'.

Ferber operates a small patisserie, Au Relais des Trois Épis, in a picturesque Alsatian village. For over 40 years, she has worked 12 to 16 hours a day, six days a week, mainly making jams and jellies from the area's abundant fruits. Featuring playful flavor combinations like cherry thyme, apricot vanilla bean, and raspberry violet, the jams have garnered fans worldwide (including Brad Pitt). 

Trained as a pastry chef, Ferber inherited her father's shop and for a time was the only employee. Now she oversees a staff of about 30, although she still personally inspects each pint of the approximately 180,000 jars the shop produces each year. Ferber says the keys to being successful at making jam are passion and patience. "If you rush things, it will not work," she said. "It's the passion, the beauty, and the love of this profession. The time you allow and the patience to wait-that's what's most important."

Several publications have written about Ferber's work, and nearly 20 years ago she published a cookbook called Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber. The cookbook wasn't her idea, she says, but she wrote all of the recipes for it. The book is highly rated in the EYB Library, and, to my delight, the paperbound version is still in print (although now with one less copy available to purchase). 

3 Comments

  • Femary  on  4/6/2018 at 1:58 AM

    Looks like an exciting book!

  • SheilaS  on  4/6/2018 at 11:44 AM

    Thanks for sharing that story. Mes Confitures is one of my favorite books for preserves and I dream of visiting her shop one day!

  • lascatx  on  4/14/2018 at 1:02 PM

    I have made a number of the recipes in this book and another inspired my original recipe that a neighbor restaurant owner declared (at the time) the best thing he'd ever eaten. The process for a simple berry jam results in better fresher flavor but there are unusual combinations like Watermelon, Apple and Pink Grapefruit or Pumpkin with Dried Apricot and Citrus. I have other preserving books I have enjoyed and used a lot, but this one is one I most cherish. It was recommended to me years ago by someone in Canada -- I have lost touch with her, but still think about her when I talk about this book.

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