In case you missed it – preserving the harvest

There was rain, there was thunder and lightning and squally wind.  It was a dose of winter at the end of Spring, and it was NOT going to stop the Kitchen Gardeners holding their Preserving the Harvest workshop.

The plan had been to make marmalade, lemon curd, lemon cordial, tomato passata and Moroccan preserved lemons.  Well, four out of five is pretty good.

Tomatoes, ready for processing

We managed to process something like 30kg of tomatoes into passata, flavoured with garlic, thyme and oregano.

We also made up a dozen or so jars of Debra’s microwave lemon curd (recipe at the end) and two batches of marmalade using Elizabeth’s Great-Nana’s guaranteed recipe (recipe also following).  Debra also made just enough lemon cordial for us all to try.

Sadly, we just didn’t get to the Moroccan lemons.  There was a bit of a jar issue and, well, we just ran out of time.  What with having to try two different kinds of marmalade, some experimental kiwifruit jam and the lemon curd on Peter’s turkish bread, you get the picture…

Bev and Kim with great piles of tomatoes

Debra’s microwave lemon curd 

  • 3 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups caster sugar (adjust for your personal sweetness preference)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup lemon juice plus finely grated zest (can substitute some  passionfruit pulp and or lime juice within this quantity)
  • 125 g unsalted butter, melted

Whisk all ingredients together in a glass or ceramic bowl.

Microwave @  50% power for 10-12 minutes, stirring well after each minute until the mixture thickens.

Bottle in clean glass jars & store in fridge.  Use within 3 weeks.

*can be cooked on the stove using a double boiler on medium heat, stirring regularly to avoid curdling.  REMEMBER TO STORE IN FRIDGE!

Orange marmalade and tomato passata

Elizabeth’s Great-nana’s guaranteed marmalade

  • 1lb citrus fruit, sliced very finely
  • 2 pints water
  • 3lb granulated sugar

Slice citrus finely and remove pips.

Put fruit and water into your jam pot and simmer until the fruit is soft – this is important as once you put the sugar in, no further cooking occurs.  If you don’t get the fruit really soft first up, your marmalade will be impossible to chew.

Put your jars and lids into a 120deg C oven to sterilise them.  It’s important that your jam goes into hot jars – hot jam into cold jars is likely to end in an explosion.

Once the fruit is soft, add sugar and boil to setting point.  To check setting point, put a dribble of marmalade on a saucer you’ve had in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Marmalade at setting point will crinkle when you push your finger through it.

Leave the marmalade to sit for 10 minutes.  This is also important – slightly cooled marmalade will mean your fruit is evenly distributed in the jar, rather than floating on the top.

Pour into sterilised jars, seal and label.

*1 pint = 600ml, 1 lb = 455g

We are planning on having another preserving workshop in February 2013, but in the meantime – Happy preserving!

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One response to “In case you missed it – preserving the harvest

  1. Thanks to everyone who participated in a very productive preserving session, and extra thanks to those who brought extra produce! There are 2 extra items in the “lost & found”: a white water bottle with butterflies on it, and a white ceramic plate which previously held some mighty fine apple cake. Please let me know if you are missing these articles! Cheers, Debra

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