Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I would like to take the time to reflect on the successes, and failures, of this years preserves.

We have made;
  • apricot & apple jam
  • blackberry jam
  • cherry jam
  • cherry syrup
  • lemon curd (2 batches)
  • preserved cherries
  • strawberry jam (2 batches)
  • tomato chutney (2 batches)
  • tomato sauce
  • zucchini pickles

APRICOT & APPLE JAM- Did not use an actual recipe. As I didn't have a lot of apricots I decided to try and bulk it out with apples. I would have used either equal amounts apricots to apples or less apple, by weight. Sugar; weigh combined weight of fruit and halve for weight of sugar needed (if there was 6kg of fruit, I'd use 3 kg sugar). This jam tasted fine, but the texture was a little weird. Next time I'd use Granny Smith apples, I used red apples this year.

BLACKBERRY JAM- This is all gone!! WAS very, very good. I believe it was 3/4 weight of fruit to sugar (4 kg fruit, 3kg sugar).

CHERRY JAM- The jam has set nicely and has great colour. Unfortunately I think it tastes like cough syrup. Half the fruit weight to sugar (4kg fruit, 2kg sugar).

CHERRY SYRUP- Just as it sounds. Great added to a plain cheesecake, lovely colour.

LEMON CURD- I have been frightened of making lemon curd in the past. This is the first time I have made it. The first batch worked perfectly. The second batch the zest didn't reduce down as much. Both still tasted great. Made a lemon meringue pie, must remember to add some cornflour/thickener to the lemon curd prior to putting in pie.

PRESERVED CHERRIES- Believe it or not we have not even opened one jar of them. They look wonderful.

STRAWBERRY JAM- We love, love, love strawberry jam. Think mum did this 3/4 weight fruit to sugar (4kg fruit, 3 kg of sugar)

TOMATO CHUTNEY- Batch one was a bit of a failure, while still edible it tastes vinegary. Recipe called for plain white vinegar. We tried this recipe again, but substituted brown vinegar and it tastes much better.

TOMATO SAUCE- My first sauce ever! It has come out a bit watery. I think I will boil it without a lid for the last 1/2 hour to hour. Wonderful flavour.

ZUCCHINI PICKLES- An epic failure. Looks great in the bottle, tastes terrible. Think this one will go on the compost and we will try again next year. Used plain white vinegar, will substitute with white wine vinegar. Also the skin on the zucchini is a bit tough. Don't really want to peel them though as the green adds to the finished appearance. Maybe will peel it and add some green capsicum.

If you would like to see the recipes for any please ask.

I have bought us a "paint marker" for labelling. Dad used to use the markers in the wrecker yard to write on the windscreen of cars for sale. I have only used it for the sauce, as the idea only just occured to me. Seems like it is going to work well. We use recycled jars with metal lids( pasta sauce jars, cheese spread, etc).

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