I've just read over this post and I must apologise to those who might find it a bit long. But bare with me, I'm sharing some excellent preserving recipes here and I didn't want to leave out any information. If you are an experienced preserver, you have my full permission to skip. If you haven't done much preserving in the past, I hope that you find this useful. There are a few ranty passages about the hygiene police. I've tried very hard to get to the bottom of some preserving myths. I'd welcome your views.
Barrow also tells us that because strawberries are one of the low pectin fruits, we should be content if our resulting jam is a little runny. Just pour it over ice cream she advises.
Ive tried various methods of preserving tomatoes and have scoured the internet and recipe books for a simple recipe. I dried all my surplus tomatoes last year and found I had to leave them for ages before they were ready. After drying, the books recommended steeping them in olive oil, which just makes them more expensive and fattening.
I use small 250ml Kilner jars, that will provide enough tomato for a pasta sauce for two. These jars have a re-usable ring and a seal that is recommended that you use once. (I shall probably see if I can use them again!) Sterilise the Kilner jars in a hot oven at 110•C for 10 minutes. Place the seals into a pan of hot but not boiling water. The rings don't need sterilising as they won't get anywhere near the food. Suppliers are John Lewis, Divertimenti and Lakeland.
This isn't an essential, but it sure makes it easier getting the jars out of the pan. They cost £4.00 at John Lewis
I was finding that I wasn't using chillies in the summer. I tend to use them to pep up a winter casserole. So they were languishing on the bushes. And because they don't ripen all at once, I never had enough to make a full jar of preserved chillies. Neither have I found that drying them works for me. This recipe allows you to top up the jar, as the chillies ripen.
500ml preserving jar
Second and subsequent harvests
Once all the chillies are harvested, and placed inside the jar, you can fill the jar with a couple of centimetres or more of olive oil, which should float on the top. To use remove one at a time, and wash before adding to a salad or casserole. Unwashed chillies can go straight into a curry, as oil and vinegar are always an ingredient.