Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Marrow and Ginger preserve

Here at we're always keen to make the absolute most of the wonderful produce the seasons have to offer. Anyone who follows my Twitter feed will know I feature a #Seasonalingredientoftheweek and this week it's the marrow.

As you can imagine I'm also pretty keen to find a way of preserving the yumminess of these seasonal goodies. So when faced with a marrow I have to admit I needed some outside inspiration, but with quick flick through some preserving books, and a little help from my Tweeps I came across this recipe for marrow and ginger preserve.

Whilst both the main ingredients are savoury, this is actually a lovely mild and sweet jam, with a stunning autumnal yellow hue (which darkens slightly when kept). It is nice and easy to make as the marrow thickens the mixture quickly ready for popping in a jar quickly - so you don't feel that you need to make huge quantities at a time.

Ingredients: - Makes about 10 1lb jars
  • 6lb diced marrow flesh
  • Juice and grated rind of 4 lemons
  • 12 oz crystal ginger or 1 oz ground ginger - feel free to add ginger to your own taste though
  • 6lb caster sugar

1. Add the flesh to a heavy pan and pour over a little cold water. 
2. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 mins until tender. 
3. Drain and thoroughly mash the flesh. Return the flesh to the pan and add the grated rind and lemon juice. Add your ginger. 
4. Bring to the boil and then remove the pan from the heat. 
5. Add the sugar , stirring till disolved and then boil again till the jam is thick, about 20 mins. 
6. Pot in steralised jars and seal as normal.

For such a hearty preserve I think these would suit a chunky, rustic style jar such as our Excellsens jars.
Happy preserving


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Hedgerow goodies

The hedgerow season is upon us and preserving pans are going into overdrive, making the most of the abundance of fruit late summer has to offer. 

We simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to share one of our favourite berry recipes - a no fuss blackcurrant jelly.

Blackcurrants lend themselves perfectly to jellies as opposed to a jam as the little fruits, whilst packed with flavour, can take a slightly 'bitty' texture when the whole fruit is used, so the juice is put to much better use as a jelly.

  • 700g of blackcurrants
  • 1.25 cups water
  • jam sugar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • knob of butter
You’ll also need a sturdy pan, jelly bag and jam jars such as these: hexagonal jars
  1. Place the blackcurrants, water and lemon juice in a pan with a knob of butter (the butter helps to stop a scum forming). Bring to the boil and let it simmer for approx 10 minutes. While simmering, mash the currants with a potato masher to get all the juice out.
  2. Pour the blackcurrants into a jellybag or sieve and suspend over a pan. Let the juice drip out for at least two hours. Do not push the mixture through as you will end up with a 'bitty' texture.
  3. Measure the juice and pour into a pan. For every 2.5 cups extracted add two cups of sugar
  4. Bring to the boil.
  5. Now comes the tricky part – testing the setting point. Put a small plate in the fridge for a couple of minutes. Take it out and put a teaspoon of the mixture on it. Place back in the fridge. After two minutes test it by moving it with your finger. If the mixture has started to set and has a visible skin on it that wrinkles when you push it, then it’s ready. If not repeat the test with a new teaspoon of the still boiling mixture.
  6. Once the mixture has reached the setting point take it off the boil and pour into jars that have been sterilized in boiling water or a medium oven.
  7. Seal the jars, keep in the refrigerator and consume within about six weeks. For more information about sterilizing and sealing jars visit our site:
Happy preserving

Monday, 8 August 2011

Plum Chutney

It's plum week in the bottle and jar kitchen so I thought I'd share an easy plum chutney recipe with you all. The smells that come from the kitchen with this recipe will provoke images of warm winter fires and thick wooly jumpers as cinnamon spice fills the air, and whilst it may seem a little early to be feeling festive there is no better time to take advantage of a hoard of yummy seasonal plums.
Image courtesy of Flickr

My favourite way to enjoy plum chutney is dolloped on cheese on crackers as a mid afternoon snack and it will make a delicious addition to a Christmas spread with cold meats, cheeses and pickles.

As with all homemade preserves they make a fabulous gift, and would fit perfectly alongside your other homemade goodies in a Christmas hamper. Make a big batch and share out the yumminess, it's sure to be appreciated.

Image courtesy of Flickr

Makes about one medium sized jar - multiply quantities to make a large batch.
  •  500g dark red plums
  • shallots, chopped  
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 100 g demerara sugar

1. Cut the plums in half down the crease, twist the halves in opposite directions and pull apart. Prise out the stones and discard. Roughly chop the flesh.

2. Place the chopped shallots in a heavy-based, non-reactive saucepan with the olive oil and heat until sizzling. Sauté gently for 5 minutes until softened.

3. Add the chopped plums, vinegar, water, cinnamon and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly thickened.

4. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 100-120°C /gas 1-2. Place a clean medium-sized jam jar in the oven to warm. When the plum chutney is ready, spoon it into the warm jar. Seal with a lid and leave to cool completely.

I like my chutney in a square jar and our medium sized 282 ml square jars are perfect for the job, although you can of course use any shape you desire.  Choose your jars here.
Happy Preserving...