I recently made marmalade from the fruit on my Calamondine plant; click here for the details, but at this time of the year there are lots of produce in your garden which can be preserved. Here are a few recipes to get you going:
Blackberry & Apple Jam
MAKES sufficient for 4 x 500ml Preserving Jars
- 1 kg blackberries
- 375g cooking apples, peeled and sliced
- 360ml water
- 1.3kg granulated sugar
- Prepare the jars by washing in soapy water and rinsing well.
- Put the blackberries and 180ml of the water in a pan, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer until soft.
- Put the apples and the remaining water into a large pan, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer until soft.
- Add the sugar and blackberries to the pan of apples and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 25 minutes, taking care not to allow the mixture to boil over.
- Reduce the heat and test by placing half a teaspoon of mixture onto a very cold saucer, let it cool and then push with your finger. If the surface crinkles it is ready. If not, boil for a further 5 minutes and test again.
- Sterilise the jars (not the lids) in boiling water, and fill with jam before they cool down. Leave 1-2cm of space at the top, and immediately place on the wax-seal disc. Position the outer metal band over the disc and tighten.
- Store in a cool, dry, dark place.
top tip: cooking apples could be substituted with eating apples or windfall apples if you have some to use up.
Hot Hedgerow Chutney
Makes 1kg – approx. five 8oz (227g) jars
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 finely chopped red onions
- 2-3cm finely chopped stem ginger, to taste
- 2 de-seeded, finely chopped large red chillis
- 1kg blackberries
- 90g caster sugar
- 60ml red wine vinegar
- In a heavy-based saucepan or preserving pan gently heat the olive oil.
- Add the red onion, ginger and chilli and cook gently for 4-5 minutes until softened.
- Add the blackberries to the pan and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the caster sugar and red wine vinegar to the mixture and stir well, making sure everything is combined.
- Bring to the boil, and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until reduced and thickened.
- Whilst still hot, funnel into hot, sterilised jars. Cover with waxed discs and allow the contents to cool before sealing with a lid.
- Store for 3 months before eating to help the flavours mature and mellow.
Not managed to pick a kilo of berries? Don’t worry, this recipe can easily be halved.
If you are new to preserving or if you just want to replace your current tools I think the best place to buy the products you need is Lakeland. I have been shopping online with Lakeland for years now and their products are always of good quality and they have a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your goods.