In keeping to my love affair with farmers’ markets and local summer produce I made my first fruit preserves this weekend and I’m pretty pleased with how they came out!
My Mum has been making and canning jams and jellies for as long as I can remember. As it turns out, it looks like a lot more work than it actually is. Yes, cleaning and prepping is time consuming, but it’s actually a pretty nice way to spend an afternoon. The fruit is so flavourful and fragrant (not to mention cheap) this time of year, it makes the whole kitchen smell wonderful even before you start boiling it down.
I have two really good books on home preserving, You Can Can! and Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Bernardin also has some really good recipes and instructions on their website. Personally, I’d recommend either, they’re both very good, but the Bernardin book has a better selection of recipes without pectin products which is a bonus to me. After all, why add extra junk to such beautiful fruit when proper boiling will yield the desired consistency?
One thing to keep in mind if you do your own preserving is storage. These recipes actually make an awful lot, which is great, we’ll have it all winter… I just need to find a place to stash twenty seven jars of jam!