Preserving your Garden Produce

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


  1. Prepare the jars by washing in soapy water and rinsing well.
  2. Put the blackberries and 180ml of the water in a pan, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer until soft.
  3. Put the apples and the remaining water into a large pan, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer until soft.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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


  1. In a heavy-based saucepan or preserving pan gently heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the red onion, ginger and chilli and cook gently for 4-5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the blackberries to the pan and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the caster sugar and red wine vinegar to the mixture and stir well, making sure everything is combined.
  5. Bring to the boil, and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until reduced and thickened.
  6. Whilst still hot, funnel into hot, sterilised jars. Cover with waxed discs and allow the contents to cool before sealing with a lid.
  7. 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.