Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Preserving Fruit

Posted by Rosie

It is now peak soft fruit time here at Eco-Gites of Lenault and whilst the first fresh strawberry, raspberry or tayberry popped into your mouth is an absolute joy, there is only so much fresh fruit you can eat before the rot sets in. Both the literal rot,because fresh fruit like this not store for long and the rot of never actually wanting to eat another berry again!

Preserving is therefore the way to go.


Anyone who saw my last Silent Sunday picture will know that I have been bottling fruit - the picture shows raspberries and rhubarb purée but I have also bottled blackcurrants, tayberries and loganberries.   Bottling is not a difficult process but rules do need to be followed and there are different methods you can use.  This Australian page gives some easy to follow instructions or if you Google "Bottling Fruit" you'll find plenty more information.  What ever method you use though these are my 7 rules you really must follow for success:

 

7 tips to successful fruit bottling

  1. Make sure you use proper preserving jars - IKEA sells the cheapest that I have fund but do not try to use non-preserving quality jars as they will crack.
  2. Clean thoroughly before using with hot soapy water then drain before filling with fruit.
  3. Use a new seal every time - you may be lucky and get a good seal with an old one or it might fail and all your efforts will have been for nothing.
  4. Check seals and rims really carefully before heating - one pip on the seal can stop the jar sealing properly.
  5. Never overfill - it is a false economy as the jar may well overflow and then not seal.
  6. If using clip jars like Le parfait or those from IKEA make sure the little tab on the seal is not caught under the clip.  In order to open the jar you need to pull on this tab to beak the seal and this is hard if it is close to the clip.  The page I linked to above suggests using the tip of a knife to break the seal - this does work but you tend to end up with all your knives having bent tips!
  7. Check stores regularly - chuck any with mould on and eat others in that batch ASAP.

Bottling fruit at Eco-Gites of Lenault


    As with fresh fruit there is a limit to how much bottled fruit we can eat so I need some more recipes.  I freeze plenty of fruit for crumbles and I make make chutneys, ice cream and other desserts.  And this is an absolute favourite: 

    Raspberry Vinegar

     

    Raspberry Vinegar

    Ingredients for 1.5 litres

    1kg raspberries
    600ml cider or white wine vinegar
    Granulated sugar


    Method


    1.  Put the  raspberries in a non metallic bowl and gently crush them.
    2.  Add the vinegar and leave the fruit to steep for 4-5 days, stirring every now and then.
    3.  Put the fruit vinegar mix through a scalded jelly bag and leave to drain overnight, squeezing out the last drops of liquid. *
    4.  Measure the liquid and for every 600ml add 450g sugar.
    5.  Heat the vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves then boil for 8-10mins, removing any scum that rises to the surface.
    6.  Remove from the heat and cool.
    7.  Bottle and seal when cold.

    Will keep for a year. You can use any berry fruit for this - blackberries, strawberries etc or even a mixture to make up the weight.

    * If you do not have a jelly bag you can always use my method - one muslin, one upside down chair, 4 pieces of string and a bowl underneath!


    Improvised jelly bag


    Raspberry vinegar is simply wonderful and has all sorts of uses:

    • Mix with equal quantities of good olive oil for a salad dressing
    • Pour over ice cream
    • Drizzle over any number of puddings 
    • Dilute with sparkling water for a refreshing drink
    • Take a spoonful to ease a sore throat
     
    I hope if you grow fruit that you have lots to pick right now.  Do you have any favourite ways of preserving the fruit harvest?  I'd love to hear about them.  And for more recipe inspiration why not pop over to Honest Mum's Tasty Tuesdays linky or #FoodieTuesday at Inside Journeys.



    Post Comment LoveTasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

    27 comments :

    1. I'm not sure if my last post went through. If it did, I'm sorry but I'm going to leave it again just in case.

      We never have enough fruit left over for it to go off, since everyone in the house loves to snack on it throughout the day. If we did, I'd look into doing this. I hate food going off! Saying that, we do buy frozen berries because they last longer and they're the things that we don't eat as much but like them for baking.

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      1. If you get the chance to buy some bulk fruit at reduced rice then preserving it is worthwhile - I used to buy frozen berries before I grew my own to reduce the risk of them going mouldy.

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    2. I too don't know if my previous comment went through.

      Love your improvised jelly bag. Dropping by from UBC.

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      1. Thank you Suzy - it was much cheaper and larger than anything I could buy too!

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    3. Oooh this looks lovely! I love preserving fruits and making chutneys and jams x #TastyTuesdays

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      1. So do I - Tom says my chilli courgette pickle is the best :)

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    4. I always want to preserve but not jams but sweetened adzuki & kidney beans. Cuz I like to batch cook but its hard to finish half a kilo of it in one go. I should really learn how to do this. They have preserving jars and lids at Wilkinson. I wil lsee if thats got an okay price as Ikea is a bit far. #TastyTuesdays

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      1. Sweetened beans sound interesting - how do you eat them?

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      2. In Manila,Philippines we eat them as dessert. Or as a spread for bread too. And they are sweet so you can only eat so much and they need to be stored. So preserving them is really needed. =)

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    5. These are some very good tips, thanks alot. Also love the pictures!

      belland09.blogspot.com

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    6. Great tips Rosie, and I love the sound of the raspberry vinegar. Must be nice to have a year round supply by preserving it when it's in season :-) #tastytuesdays

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      1. It is but it is keeping me very busy getting everything preserved when it all ripens at the same time!

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    7. These are great tips I have never done this before but may try it, we would have to go fruit picking though as we have nothing growing this year at all xx

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      1. If you preserve only one thing, Kerry, I would recommend the raspberry vinegar. It's divine!

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    8. We had never grown any fruits as I am not a great green fingers. I actually kill them.
      I love how you improvise the jelly bag! This is very interesting! Now I wish that I have save all my muslim cloths!

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      1. Thank you Eileen - you could always bulk buy cheaper fruit to have a go at preserving.

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    9. I've done peppers but not fruits but I'm not sure why I haven't tried them. You've inspired me to try. Oh, I love your creativity -- will have to try that.
      Thanks for linking up with FoodieTuesday this week.

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      1. I do hope I have inspired you to have a go - bottled fruit is so yummy and for us with our colder winters, they make a welcome reminder of warmer summer days!

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    10. Wow never made raspberry vinegar but want to know. So many fab tips too! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

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      1. It is so worth making raspberry vinegar as it is so good and so versatile. I am now trying tayberry and red wine vinegar to see what that is like.

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    11. The raspberry vinegar looks fantastic and quite simple to make really. I would love that on a nice crisp salad on a hot summer day :) Great post! #PoCoLo

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      1. Thank you and yes, raspberry vinegar is so easy to make. Hope you get to make it and enjoy that salad! I am also trying tayberry and red wine vinegar to see what that is like.

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    12. Love the idea of raspberry vinegar and sounds very versatile too. Sadly no longer have fruit trees in our new garden, but has definitely got me thinking (a project for next year perhaps). #TastyTuesday.

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      1. You can also make this with frozen shop-bought raspberries or foraged blackberries. Do make it Sarah, you will not regret it!

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    13. What a brilliant idea - so simple but I had never thought of doing this! Will remember next time we have an oversupply :) Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

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      1. Thank you Victoria - you can always make the raspberry vinegar with frozen raspberries or any other similar soft fruit.

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