Preserving Your Surplus


Preserving Your Surplus

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

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Latest Activity: Feb 18, 2017

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 Lynn on March 30, 2012 at 8:19pm

I can empathise with that, Megan. I usually give some of the solids to the birds and the rest into the garden. It's nice to be able to use it for something, though I will admit, it took more work to cut the cores (I don't usually...I just chuck the lot in the pot!). Not something I would want to do every day, when my hands don't work so well with fibromyalgia. Oh well...I got through it, and it's lovely!

Comment by Megan on March 30, 2012 at 5:30pm

Quinces won't be ready until the end of April down this end of the world - getting plenty of inspiration from you Lynn. I have to confess that I've always been very wasteful and put the pulp into my bokashi buckets. Will try making a batch of paste this year. The last time I did it, got bored stirring it and because I didn't add lemon juice or rind, it tasted far too sweet.

Comment by Lynn on March 30, 2012 at 9:01am

Thanks Nick...nice recipe

Comment by Nicolas Santini on March 30, 2012 at 8:44am

Lynn, with all that membrillo you can look into baking a Pasta Frola , I use to love eating them back home (im from Argentina btw)

Comment by Lynn on March 29, 2012 at 6:24pm

Mmmmm...that sounds nice, Nat

Comment by Nat & Pete on March 29, 2012 at 6:21pm

That looks delicious, Lynn! I did a similar thing with my quinces -- made quince jelly, then used the leftover pulp to make jam. It came out delicious, not too sweet and almost as good a colour as the jelly.

Comment by Lynn on March 29, 2012 at 11:52am

While making my quince jelly this year, I bawked at the thought of throwing away the pulp. While talking to a Spanish friend of mine, they told me about membrillo - quince past - made from the pulp only. Perfect! So I separated the cores from the flesh before making the jelly, put the cores in a muslin bag, so that the jelly still got the pectin, but the flesh was kept clean and free of tough bits and seeds. After straining the flesh from the fluid, I added lemon juice, lemon rind, and vanilla to the pulp, along with equal amounts of sugar to pulp, and boiled for about an hour or so. Once the pulp syrup was richly dark and thick, I poured it into trays. In the oven on 100C for about 4 or 5 hours until set, then out to cool. The paste is not solid, but the consistency of...ummm...sort of like fish roe. It can be sliced, but it is easily spread onto cheese. DELISH!

Comment by Kali on March 7, 2012 at 3:49pm

I have made some fruitmince using green tomatoes but want to know how to process the jars of fruitmince in the pressure cooker to make sure they will keep...

Comment by Sheri on January 8, 2012 at 1:36pm

Hi Kristen, I have found out that you can make Jam & Jelly without pectin by using very firm (Under ripe) fruit, it's pectin count is much higher. Wash and rinse all fruit thoroughly before cooking. Do not soak. Remove stems, skins, and pits from fruit; cut into pieces and crush. 

Add sugar and bring to a boil while stirring rapidly and constantly. Continue to boil until mixture thickens. Use one of the following tests to determine when jams and jellies are ready to fill. Remember to allow for thickening during cooling.Temperature test: Use a jelly or candy thermometer and boil until mixture reaches the temperature for your altitude. Refrigerator test: Remove the jam mixture from the heat. Pour a small amount of boiling jam on a cold plate and put it in the freezing compartment of a refrigerator for a few minutes. If the mixture gels, it is ready to fill.Remove from heat and skim off foam quickly. Fill sterile jars with jam. Use a measuring cup or ladle the jam through a wide-mouthed funnel, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process. 

Fruit Cups Crushed Fruit Cups Sugar Tbsp Lemon Yield (Half-pints)
Apricots  4 to 4-1/2  5 to 6 
Comment by Lynn on January 8, 2012 at 12:31pm

Hi Kirsten - you could try something like chutney or maybe marmalade (with lemons or grapefruit) or maybe put them in a syrupy brine to help sweeten them.


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