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Recipe

Fruit jars

The trick to bottling any fruit is to do it in small batches so that it remains a manageable and fun job! Try Nici Wickes' tasty combinations

By Nici Wickes
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking
  • Makes 3 medium-sized jars
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This recipe first appeared in New Zealand Woman's Weekly.
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Ingredients

Plum and vanilla
  • 3 kilogram plums, halved and destoned
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract, or 2-3 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
  • water to just cover plums
Peaches, honey and rosemary
  • 3 kilogram peaches, peeled, destoned and quartered
  • 2 heaped tbsp honey
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • water to cover peaches
Apricots and gingered sweet wine
  • 3 kilogram apricots, halved and destoned
  • 1/2 cup sweet dessert wine
  • 4 - 6 pieces crystallised ginger
  • enough water to bring the liquid level to the fruit

Method

Method for all
  • 1
    In a large saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  • 2
    Use a slotted spoon to scoop the fruit (and other flavourings like vanilla pods, rosemary or ginger) into hot, sterilised jars. Top each with syrup until just overflowing. Using a sterilised knife, slide it down the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles.
  • 3
    Screw the lids tightly. Wipe jars clean and leave to cool.

Notes

Use soft, ripe fruit for preserving if you want a full flavour. Heat clean jars at 150°C for 10-15 minutes before using to both sterilise and prime them for the scalding hot fruit. Firm, slightly under-ripe fruit is recommended for preserving as it holds its shape better, but I'm all about the flavour so I use fruit in its prime and cook it for less time. If it means putting up with a bit of cloudiness in the syrup, so be it – the rewards are in the lusciously full flavour, I promise.

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