If the Apocalypse ever happens, we’re going to have plenty of food in the basement! In just the past few days we have made Fig, Caramelized Onion, and Pepper Jam, 15 quarts of Victor’s Pasta Sauce – made from our own tomatoes and fresh herbs – a dozen pints of hot peppers, and last night, 4 pints of fig peach jam. Right now, Victor is in the kitchen making Little Grandma’s Eggplant that I will can when it’s done. That’s the next blog post!

At home, we had 4 pounds of white peaches that were merely okay, and, at work, there were 2-pound packs of black figs that were really good. A concept was born.

And a dessert.

The jam was easy – albeit a bit messy until I changed pots. I put everything into a large skillet to cook and reduce, and as it thickened, it bubbled up like lava shooting droplets far into the sky and all over the stove, floor, and counter. I can be a walking disaster, at times.


But, I saw the errors of my ways and changed pots and cleaned up. Disaster averted and a delicious jam made. The merely okay peaches mixed well with the stellar figs and it really came out good!

White Peach and Fig Jam

  • 4 lbs white peaches
  • 2 lbs figs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pouch pectin

Wash the fruit and process in food processor in batches – some really smooth, some with a few chunks. Place in a large heavy pot with the sugar and bring to a boil, Add the balsamic and pectin and cook, stirring often, until reduced and thickened.

Place in sterile jars and process according to manufacturers directions.

I pressure-processed at 6lbs pressure for 10 minutes because of the jars I used. You could easily water bath this with standard Ball jars.

And… because man does not live by jam, alone, I made Rugelach for dessert!


  • 1 block cream cheese (8oz)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups flour

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add sugar and mix well. Add vanilla and salt.

Add flour and mix just until it’s all combined.

Place on counter and divide into 2 flattened logs. Wrap and refrigerate about an hour.

To make and bake:

Roll each log into a 6″ by 18″ or so rectangle. Spread with jam or filling of choice and then liberally sprinkle with chopped nuts – I used pistachios. Brush top with egg wash and liberally top with demerara or other coarse-grained sugar.

Roll and cut into 1″ pieces. Place on sheet pans and bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 20 minutes.

Start with your block of dough.


Roll it out to a rectangle. Unless you plan on selling them, don’t worry about perfect edges.


Spread with a thin layer of your filling and then spread liberally with chopped nuts.


Roll it up and brush with an egg wash.


Then sprinkle on demerara sugar. I keep a jar of demerara sugar and vanilla beans in the baking cabinet.


Slice into about 3/4-inch pieces and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.


Bake, cool, and eat!


A really unexpected hit. These came out better than expected and it took a lot of willpower not to just eat every one. Really, really good. I made the rugelach in a roll as opposed to the more traditional rolled wedge. If you wish, you can divide the dough into four circles, roll into 9″ rounds, cut into 8 wedges, and top and roll.

My way is easier – and the end result tastes the same!

We really are having some serious fun in the kitchen. And we’re going to be eating really well this winter!