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 Megan on May 3, 2012 at 9:36pm

now I remember why I haven't made quince paste for years - pushing 2 kilos of pulp through a sieve is not easy. I don't own a mouli and didn't want to put it through the food processor. Hope it's worth the effort :)

Comment by josephal on May 3, 2012 at 8:45pm

dehydrate them, so delicious

Comment by Angela Wayenburg on May 3, 2012 at 8:44pm

Just wondering if anyone has bottled persimmons?  If so how did they go about it?

Comment by Franzi on May 3, 2012 at 7:35pm

There are definitely recipes out there without any sugar or sugar-substitues! I know that my grandmother in her younger years did not have the availability to buy sugar and they were able to preserve fruit (in what was called 'Kompott' I think...swiss, sorry) without anything added to it OR owning a fridge!... I am unsure if it involved fermentation maybe...? Sadly she is not alive anymore to ask and I haven't yet found any good recipes without having to buy a book... I thought I ask on here! But I shall go for a little trip to the good old library and get stuck in some books :) I will share if I find some simple good alternatives... Thanks for all the responses anyway I definitely would love to try some of the ideas. 

Comment by moggy on May 3, 2012 at 1:54pm

Without wanting to provoke an argument, I don't understand why people say use honey or fruit juice instead of sugar, they both contain sugar, the only difference is there are some additional beneficial impurities contained in them. If the health reason for not wanting sugar is insulin related (there is more than just diabetes that is an insulin related condition). then honey or fruit sugars should be avoided just as much.

Comment by Richard Grevers on May 3, 2012 at 12:03pm

salt :-)

But seriously, on searching I found the same resource that Hathi liniked to. Basically extended and meticulous processing will give you about 4 weeks fridge life - freeze if you want to keep things longer. Since you will need to pasteurise in a water bath after filling, you probably need metal lids rather than cellophane, which adds to the cost (but sugar isn't cheap these days, and you'll save on that). 

Comment by Hathi on May 3, 2012 at 9:42am

Hi Jude,  Canning and Preserving Without Sugar by Norma Macrae (you might need to buy from Amazon) but which uses honey or fruit juices to sweeten in their recipes.  http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09302.html  Here's some further info also.

Comment by Jude on May 3, 2012 at 9:12am

aah, thanks Richard. So then the question is, is there anything else that can be used as a preservative in the place of sugar.

Comment by Richard Grevers on May 3, 2012 at 6:46am

Hi Jude. As I understand it (and I've only been making jams and relishes for a few years) the pectin, agar and gelatine are only setting agents, and it is the sugar which is acting as a preservative to avoid spoiling. So if you go sugar-free, or use alternative sweetners such as stevia, you can still control the consistency, but whatever you make will be perishable.

Comment by Jude on May 2, 2012 at 6:11pm

Hi, for me I don't want to use sugar for health reasons, and am not interested in artificial sweeteners. I'm happy with the jam/preserves being tart, but I'm really keen on people's knowledge (and specific amounts/methods) for the preservation side of it. In recent comments, we've got pectin, gelatine and agar agar - any ideas of amounts, etc? Thanks

 

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