Julia Sforza's Half Pint Preserves is in its third year of preserving fruit. This summer, Sforza's Hudson Valley-based business has been setting up a once-a-month pop-up shop at Esopus Studio, just south of Kingston. At this location, Half Pint Preserves sells its homemade fruit spreads and vintage kitchen aprons, as well as displays a library dedicated to the art of preserving nature's candy.
On Sunday, July 28, Sforza will also host a free jam session that will bring music to your mouth. The 20-minute, family-friendly demonstration will be on how to make apricot preserves. (The process works for all stone fruits—fleshy summer fruits with giant pits.) Half Pint Preserves's products are made with hand-picked, locally sourced ingredients from farms such as Meadow View Farm in New Paltz and Kelder's Farm in Kerhonkson. Besides making sweet seasonal spreads, Sforza also concocts jam liqueurs with brandy or vodka and household cleaners with citrus and vinegar.
Sforza's jams are as much about taste as they are sustainability. In her own household process called “blossom-end-to-stem-cooking,” Sforza makes sure to use every part of a fruit, pit and all. By soaking the pits to shed off the remaining flesh, Sforza can make stone fruit purees, sorbets, juice pops, and sauces. Composting and buying local is all a part of Sforza's mission to support her neighbors and environment.
There will be one award-winning preserve on sale this Sunday, her rhubarb strawberry rose petal jam, which won at the national 2012 Good Food Awards in San Francisco. (Sforza's apple plum star anise jelly won at the 2013 Good Food Awards.) Sforza is a food blogger for Hudson Valley Food Network and What Julia Ate, her personal blog.
Half Pint Preserves will be at Esopus Studios tomorrow, July 28, from 12pm to 4pm with a free demonstration at 2pm. Click here for more information.