Home > Storing & Preserving > Pickles, Relishes, Jams and Preserves

Pickles, Relishes, Jams and Preserves

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 7 Aug 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Picling Fruit Chutney Pickles Jams

One of the best things about growing your own fruit is that you normally get a far bigger harvest than you need. While it’s always good to share your fruits with friends and family, you also get the opportunity to turn your bounty into fantastic pickles, relishes, jams and preserves.

Pickles
Pickled food is delicious. The taste is often very far removed from the original foods source and so this gives another dimension to the fruit you grow. Pickles combine spices, sugar and vinegar to give your fruits a crisp, firm texture and tart, sweet flavour. What’s more, they retain some of the fruit’s original nutrients, they are low in fat, and are relatively low in calories (the sweet pickles have a higher calorie content).

Chutneys
Chutneys are made from finely chopped ingredients, which are boiled with sugar and vinegar. They can be sweet or sharp and are usually served with cheese or cold meats.

Jellies and Jams
Jellies and jams are fantastic on toast and are easy to make. They have the added bonus of being suitable for fruit that is slightly overripe, when you can no longer freeze, dry or bottle it.

The fruit is preserved by boiling it with sugar. The process of making jam and jelly is the same, the results depend on which fruit is used, how it is prepared and the proportions of the different ingredients used. Jellies take a longer time to prepare than jams and conserves. Often the seeds of the fruit are removed and the result is more clear and smooth.

Jam is a cooked mixture of fruit or vegetables with sugar, which is boiled and stored in jars. The high sugar content prevents micro-organisms from growing and means the jam will keep for months. Marmalades are jams made with a citrus fruit such as oranges and lemons.

Conserves
These are similar to jams but normally the whole fruit is preserved in the mixture. The fruit is kept in jars in a thick syrup and boiled for a much shorter amount of time. The fruit is therefore preserved closer to its original state, both in its shape and taste.

Curds
Curds are made using eggs and butter. An example is lemon curd. They are not strictly a preserve, and so keep for a much shorter length of time. Almost any fruit can be used to make a curd, including raspberries and blackberries.

Vinegars, Oils and Ketchup
Vinegars and oils can be infused with certain fruits and can then be used for pickling, bottling or as salad dressings. Ketchup is made using vinegar and extracts from a single fruit or vegetable.

Ingredients
For all preserves, except jams and jellies, use fruit that is slightly under-ripe. This is because pectin levels are higher in under-ripe fruit, so your end product will be firmer and ‘set’ better. If you’re making jam with slightly over-ripe berries, however, you can buy pectin in powder form, or use the juice of a lemon, or apple in the mixture, which contain high levels of pectin. Use granulated sugar where possible. Caster sugar is also suitable, but brown sugar can stain the colour of the resulting mixture.

Vinegars should be of good quality. Red and white wine and cider vinegars are particularly suitable. Use cider vinegar for pickling sweet fruits and red wine vinegar for pickling darker fruits such as plums (it will add depth to their colour).

It is best to use mildly flavoured oils, such as sunflower. This ensures the flavour of the fruit with which it is being infused is not overpowered.

Always store your pickles, jams and preserves in a cool dark place.

You should be able to use your preserves right through the winter months and enjoy your fruit on toast, as an accompaniment to cheese and cold meat, or in oil or vinegar over a crisp salad. There are hundreds of uses for different preserves, and once you’ve got the hang of making them, why not experiment with different ingredients?

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Ideas with cherries I have hundreds. .want a chutney and sugar syrup recipe to keep them through the year... Thanks
Stevie - 7-Aug-15 @ 2:41 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • ian
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I have a much loved, potted avocado tree that needs an indoor home because I’m moving away. It’s 5-years old and 8 feet tall. Any suggestions?
    23 August 2019
  • Dawni
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Just eaten a piece of delicious Winberry tart lovenly made by my sister Kay from Maesteg. I haven't tasted Winberries in…
    15 August 2019
  • Dawni
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Just had a piece of delicious winberry tart lovingly made by my sister Kay from Maesteg.Itsthe fMAirst time I've had…
    15 August 2019
  • Diane
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Still surprises me how many people haven’t heard of the winberry it seems to be a valley thing I think, I’m lucky enough…
    13 August 2019
  • Jackie
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    I live in Blaengarw, in the Garw Valley. They are everywhere here.
    10 August 2019
  • Katsouna
    Re: Plum Trees
    We have a Victoria Plum which is 15 to 20 years old, 2 years ago we had a brilliant crop, last year we had just a few and this year we have a lot of very…
    4 August 2019
  • Noel Baba
    Re: Growing Gooseberries
    Trying to grow gooseberries here in Turkey.like a previous post we have very hot summers sometimes 38 degrees,and more I bring plants back…
    27 July 2019
  • ECO1
    Re: When to Harvest Fruit
    Hi , I like to joining with yours for plucking fruits. Have any vacancies about this season ?
    27 July 2019
  • Yum
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Bought some pies at Bury Mkt today Also saw fresh berries to buy too What a treat????
    26 July 2019
  • Mammagino
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Hello, I'm originally from Rhymney and as a child I would be up the mountains picking Winberries. I want to take my son…
    22 July 2019