Autumn Preserving in the Valley of Love

High time to do something with those amazing pears and peaches.

First juice the pears, we decided, as they were very juicy and ripe. That juice is delicious in its own right, so we preserved it and reserve our options for later making into pear cider or drinking it as it is, chilled.

Peach Worcestershire sauce had to be sieved and bottled, and semi-dried tomatoes dipped in vinegar and covered with olive oil into jars. Very tasty they are, made from tomatoes from our garden.

Clingstone peach jam is really nice too. I didn’t want the skins or stones in there of course, but wanted their pectin, so cooked those in a little water, strained it off (about a cupful in all) and added to the jam.

My personal favourite? Autumn fruits paste. The colour was an unattractive light brown, so I added 300g of fresh picked blackberries to the mix and that made all the difference. It’s a lovely burgundy now.

Along the way today, sadly some sacrifices had to be made.

First, and most painful, the last of the apple cider we’d made. Into the autumn fruits butter that went, as did a cupful of our not-quite-yet-matured honey mead.

Thirdly – a favourite pillow case was used to help strain the pear juice. It was the one with the thinnest fabric so it had to go.

At the end of the day, no surprise, a mess.

But look how much we gained. Loads of lovely preserves to add to the pantry!


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