Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Jam and preserves ~ making the most of all that delicious fruit

It's mid-winter here in New Zealand and I've finally finished bottling the last of my apples, the last fruit of the season to be packed away into jars.  I'm happy that we now have all the jam and preserves needed until the next harvests come around.  

One sort I wish I'd made more of is gooseberry jam of which we have just one remaining jar!  I made plenty but now that I have perfected my recipe it has become a household favourite, carrying with it the distinctive and refreshing flavour so reminiscent of balmy mid-summer days.  

I'm aware that it's berry-fruit time in the northern hemisphere and that stone fruit such as apricots, peaches and plums, are likely to be ripening. 

Learning how to make jam and preserves to my own exacting standards was the subject of experimentation over a number of years.  One feature of recipe books which I found strangely unclear was the ratio of prepared fruit to sugar and water, as well as the finer points of how to manage the process of preparation, cooking and bottling without covering the kitchen with stickiness and going nutty in the process.  I also discovered how simple it is to re-use pop-top jars.  

For the benefit of others who would like to have a go and may find the prospect daunting, or simply want to compare notes, I've written up my ratios and methods.  I discovered it's not at all difficult - it just takes time.  But how satisfying it is, as well as thrifty and delicious.  

To find these articles click on the link below:

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