A fruity post

Over the years I have become fastidious about bottling fruit, so that I have a supply all year round with which to make desserts and breakfasts. It all started with apples given to me by friends and family. With limited space in the freezer, I learned how to preserve the (free) bounty in jars. I progressed on to bought fruit – pineapple, peaches, nectarines, plums… available cheaply and in abundance for limited times of the year.

This year, however, we’ve tried to minimise our travelling (for quite some time we were only allowed to go out for essentials and then ideally only distances less than 5 miles) and so there were few opportunities to acquire exotic fruits (the place we get them from is local for a rural area but many more than five miles away). It’s probably been a good thing, though, because it has encouraged me to use what’s on the doorstep. So this year the jars are once more filled with apples, but there are also red currants (it was a spectacular year for them) and rhubarb. There are still some jars of plums and pineapple, but most of the produce came from our garden or the gardens of friends. I’m currently still working on the 2020 apple harvest and have yet to juice any of them, but the cupboard is looking nice and full, and it will certainly see us through many more months with relatively few food miles.

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18 Comments

  1. If you want a short break from preserving your apples, would you like an apple cake recipe I’ve discovered which we find absolutely delicious? Those shelves of bottled fruit do look extremely satisfying and tasty, and remind me just how much I love rhubarb crumble in the winter!

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  2. Awesome! Learning alternative ways of preserving the harvest is on my bucket list. No idea where to begin! I’m just taking baby steps into dehydrating, using the oven, as I have not got round to getting a dehydrator yet.

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  3. It all looks gorgeous.
    Do you use an electric juicer for any of the fruit? I had one once but it was such a mare to clean it put me right off.

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    • One of our neighbours has an electric juicer and she was saying exactly the same the other day about cleaning it. Mine is a Mehu Liisa – a Scandinavian steam-juicer, so there are no moving parts and if you bottle the juice immediately when it is hot, it lasts for over a year!

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  4. My mother used to bottle fruit but I never learnt how. Yours looks wonderful.

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  5. Yum!! I love rhubarb, especially in tarts and crumble 🥰

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  6. I admire well stocked and well organised shelves. A bounty for the coming months. Enjoy!

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  7. For some reason this post made me think of my Nan. I don’t think she ever bottled anything but she made a rhubarb crumble fit for the gods. Very seldom see rhubarb available over here.

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    • I grew up in Yorkshire, where rhubarb is grown abundantly, so it was a big part of my childhood. I love a crumble… rhubarb alone is good, but even better when mixed with strawberries.

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      • I don’t add sugar but add dates when making a rhubarb crumble, and sometimes walnuts too. A little bit of spice and orange zest often creep into the crumble bit and then it begins to taste like Christmas.

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  8. Like you I have been preserving fruit in jars. Having swapped my big chest freezer for an upright one with similar outside dimensions but smaller inside capacity I need to keep it for things like meat which are hard to preserve any other way. I have done several jars of blackberries and elderberries to eat on their own or go with the apples. Having good stocks of food on the shelves was a great help during the most intense lockdown – I might have to be creative but I certainly wouldn’t starve! Most of it is very local indeed – from the garden or picked from hedgerows whilst walking the dogs!

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  9. oh, wowsers. you’ve been far better than me this year. We usually jam / pickle our allotment stuff for the #GillyHampers – 15 relatives all get at least a dozen jars (or did historically!) – this year we decided to share the harvests with our neighbours instead. (we live in Exeter, and our street has small city gardens – hence the allotments) It was much more satisfying, and heaps faster and easier than bottling and jamming. Especially as I ran through my stock of sugar early in the season. The boy makes zyder with his apples and the excess of everyone else’s. You cupboard looks fabulous. It’s so satisfying, all those jars.

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