Grow Your Own, Handmade, Homegrown, Preserving

Taste of Summer

14th August 2017
Homemade Raspberry Jam

I love preserving during the summer and autumn to enjoy homemade goodies throughout the year.  As well as my Beetroot Relish I have recently made some jams and vinegar. 
We spend a lot of time near Christchurch in Dorset and last autumn we discovered a fantastic pickyour own farm when we picked up some pumpkins for our little Pickle.  I had it in my mind that I would like to revisit in the summer for raspberries and strawberries (as my crops at home are not large enough for preserving).  We recently stopped by the farm on a Sunday ahead of travelling home and then I spent some of the following day making jams.  I made strawberry jam using Pam Corbin’s recipe from the River CottagePreserves book (affiliate link).  I have used this a couple of times before and it always works so well.  I also tried making raspberry jam for the first time and used a recipe from my Bay Tree Preserving book (affiliate link).  Both are simple and quick to make and the results are delicious. 
I was recently gifted some cultivated blackberries and turned to another favourite recipe from the River Cottage Preserves book.  I made the flavoured vinegar recipe and used the blackberries.  This makes a wonderful salad dressing and lasts all year!  This recipe takes place over a few days but if very easy and not very time consuming.  This is a perfect way to use your foraged blackberries during the autumn and is easy to scale down if you want to make a smaller quantity. 
My sister is currently avoiding all of the allium family and is struggling to find suitable condiments.  Typically most of my savoury preserves contain lots of onions and garlic so I decided to hunt through my preserving books for something that would suit.  I came across a tomato and chilli jam in the Bay Tree book (link above) and whizzed up a batch.  Skinning the tomatoes was a little fiddly but I really like the jam.  It is kind of like a set version of a sweet chilli sauce with a very simple ingredients list.  I had my first taste of it this week and enjoyed it with some homegrown potato wedges.  I will definitely be making this one again. 

I just made a batch of this spiced apple chutney.  It is a regular make each year and goes very well with ham and cheese at Christmas.  I also made a new-to-me recipe of pickled tomatoes.  This is a Nigel Slater recipe that I came across and is a very small batch recipe so was a good way to try it.  I really like the outcome although in future I would definately weigh down the tomatoes as they tend to float to the top of the pickling solution.  This recipe was very quick to make and didn’t require any specialist equipment so would be perfect for someone wanting to try preserving for the first time! 

I will no doubt be making more preserves for us and for gifts as the weeks march on towards the autumn.  I am also keen to try fermenting at some point.  What preserves do you like to make?  Please do leave me a comment with recipe suggestions!

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