Sunday, 20 January 2008

Home Preserves

I decided this was the year to have a go at preserving, and with all the lovely Summer fruit at the moment I found a couple of recipes and gave it a shot.

I started with mango chutney, as I got a whole tray of them from the Fruit Barn quite cheap.

Next it was strawberry and nectarine jam. I got a big preserving pot from a garage sale last year and have been saving lots of jars.

I washed them well, let them dry in a hot oven and boiled the lids for a while. I got a roll of waxed paper and just cut circles the same size as the lids and placed them on top before screwing the lid on tight. As they cooled - the bumps in the lid went in so I knew they had sealed correctly. Even so - I'll keep the jam in the fridge just to be sure although the chutney should be fine for up to a year in the store-cupboard. It's worth getting a good book or doing some reading on this though before having a go yourself; although there's no reason to be put-off; hey, if I can do it...
Mango Chutney - you need; 6-8 firm mangoes, 2 cups ripe sliced tomatoes, 4 cups sliced onions, 3 cups raisins, 3 cups brown sugar, 3 cups malt vinegar, 2 chillies, handful of salt.
You;- mix everything together in the preserving pan and boil for one hour. (Medium heat - stir occasionally). Pour into sterilized jars. Keep for one month to mature before using.
Summer Jam - (from 'Marie Claire - Comfort') - you need;- 200g or 1 1/3 cups strawberries, rinsed & hulled, 2 ripe peaches/nectarines (300g in total), 400g or 1 3/4 cups sugar.
You;- Slice strawberries in half and put them in a bowl. Remove skin from peaches/nectarines and roughly slice the flesh into the bowl. Pour the sugar over the fruit, stir, cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 2 hours. Then place it in a saucepan and bring to boil before reducing to a low simmer. Remove any frothy scum that may come to the surface. Simmer for 40 mins, stirring occasionally. Test that it's ready by dropping a little onto a cold saucer and placing in freezer for 1 min. When it begins to form a skin it's ready. Pour into sterilized jar and allow to cool before sealing with a lid, and refridgerating until ready to use. It will keep for several weeks. I actually added heaps more fruit, alot less sugar and a packet of 'Jam-Setta' to this recipe; although I haven't actually tried it yet! I'll save it for the scones...

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