Summer brings bountiful supplies of fresh fruit and ingredients that ideally would be enjoyed all year through. One very tasty way of making fruity goods last longer after the sun waves goodbye is by making preserves. If you’re stuck with where to begin then check out Tesco’s guide on preserving fruit. By preserving fruit, you can satisfy your sweet tooth by enjoying it on toast, with scones, mixed into porridge or as part of a home baked cake.
Here is a guide to making your own strawberry jam and raspberry cordial but you can substitute strawberries for seasonal fruits such as blueberries, apricots, cherries, peaches, and figs. Just make sure that they are ripe and ever so slightly firm.
- 3 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ¾ cup sugar (preserves need to contain 60% sugar, including natural fruit sugars, to qualify as jam!)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat and simmer at a medium-low temperature. Make sure the pan is uncovered and leave for 45 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure that the mixture doesn't scorch.
- As it approaches the set point, the jam will become very thick and when a wooden spoon is dragged across the bottom, it will fill very slowly. It is better to undercook than to overcook jam.
- Carefully transfer the jam into clean jars. Allow to cool, then seal the jars and store in the refrigerator. It will last for a month minimum.
- 1 pound raspberries, cleaned
- 1 pound sugar
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1¼ cup water
- Sterilize a couple small bottles or jars (enough for two cups of cordial).
- Put the sugar and vinegar in a pan with the raspberries. Use a potato masher to smash them over a low heat for 10 minutes until you get a syrupy mixture. Pour it through a sieve into a clean pan.
- Tip the seeds from the sieve into a bowl and stir in the water. Sieve again to remove the last of the pulp from the seeds.
- Pour the liquid into the pan with the sieved pulp, stir well and boil for one minute.
- Decant into your small sterilised bottles and seal. Store in the fridge for several months.
Make the most out of the glorious fresh produce that is currently surrounding us and enjoy a taste of summer when autumn arrives.
About the author: Jenny has been a vegetarian since she was a teenager. She loves discovering and inventing new vegetarian recipes. Outside of the kitchen, she enjoys aerobics and going out with friends for coffee.