Preserving Your Surplus

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Preserving Your Surplus

To share ways of preserving what you've grown such as bottling, freezing, dehydrating.

Members: 318
Latest Activity: Feb 18

Jars: their are two types of jars (NZ). The old agee jars have an extra, thick glass rim about a centimetre below the top and need gold rings to screw down the seals, the 'new' jars need green rings to seal, see second picture. I inherited mine but I have often seen jars and rings in op shops. Perfit seals can be bought at the supermarket. Jars need sterilising immediately before using, I wash and then rinse them in very hot water and then put them in the oven at 75 degrees C upside down on the bottom rack the top rack may need to be removed . when they are dry they are ready. I get them out and fill them one at a time, as they are now very hot I use a rolled up teatowel as in third picture to hold them. Once they are filled with hot bubbling stewed fruit i place them on a wooden suface (a cold hard surface may cause the jars to crack). I use a small (1 pint / 1/2 litre) pyrex jug to scoop out the fruit from the pan and into the jars as this fills them quickly and easily.
SealsI have another small pot of water boiling on the stove, before I get a jar out of the oven I place a perfit seal in it (to sterilise). Once the jar is full to overflowing and placed on wooden surface, using tongs I place the seal on top and screw on the ring. I tighten it using a teatowel as it gets hot. As I fill jars and place them on the wooden surface I make sure they do not touch each other as I've been told this can also make them crack. As the jars cool the perfit seal should bow in the middle rather than being slightly raised, this shows It has successfully sealed.
Basic Fruit Bottling
Water I usually add as little water as possible just enough to cover the bottom of the pan well and bubble up through the fruit as a lot of juice comes out of the fruit.
Sugar i add sugar to taste after fruit has cooked slightly as I understand this gives more sweetness for less sugar added. Also I barely make it sweet as the longer the bottled fruit is stored the more the sugar content increases.

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Comment by Youcef on September 15, 2014 at 2:01pm

Yes, dried figs is the most common way or preserving figs and doesn't need to add sugar.

Comment by moggy on March 16, 2014 at 5:14pm

dry them!

Comment by Wendy Zerjal on March 16, 2014 at 10:47am

Does anyone know a low-sugar way of preserving/freezing/bottling figs?

Comment by Lynn on November 30, 2013 at 3:24pm

Christmas gifts for friends...Moroccan preserved lemons, Waipukurau style (with bay leaf and cardomom pods and Hawkes Bay sun!)- just done last week...so hopefully they'll be ready to use pretty close to Christmas.

Comment by Peter watson on December 31, 2012 at 7:03pm

The perfit seals can be used more than once, depending on how carefully the seal was broken previously (ie absolutely minimal bending of the rim).

However, their price seems to keep going up year by year, and I have stopped using them. Instead I use any jars that have 'pop up' tops, such as are commonly used for jams, pasta sauces etc.

The idea with filling is to exclude air, so overflowing is best, however, when doing this, there is always the danger of something (eg tomato seeds) preventing a complete seal. I get over this problem by nearly filling to the top, and overflowing the last couple of centimeters with boiling hot water.

Comment by Cyndi Findlay on December 31, 2012 at 6:52pm

oh and also, how far does the jar need to be filled up to....just to the top or over flowing ????as you can tell i'm a preserving virgin !! lol

Comment by Cyndi Findlay on December 31, 2012 at 6:48pm

hello every body, and happy new year. wondering if i could get some information; i just read that the seals can only be used once when preserving jars? is this correct or can they be used again if theyve been used and sterlized?
cheers, Cyndi

 

Comment by Megan on May 4, 2012 at 2:45pm

Thanks Lynn & Moggy, the quince hadn't been peeled or cored - I just washed them, rubbed off the fluff and cut them in half before cooking. When they were soft, scooped out the core. I don't like the gritty bits which is why I sieved the pulp - tried scooping out as much as possible but didn't get it all. I find it more hassle to peel and core before cooking them because the fruit are so hard. The only time I do so is when I slow bake them - even then I don't bother to peel them :)

Comment by Lynn on May 4, 2012 at 10:54am

Same here - I put the cores in a muslin bag for the boiling process though, so that there was the extra bit of pectin and then removed that before mashing the rest of the pulp...including the skins. It's delicious!

Comment by moggy on May 4, 2012 at 9:56am

Megan there is absolutely no need to put the pulp through a sieve. I just peel and core them, then chop them up and boil, there are no bits you need to remove after that

 

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