Generally, we are much more inclined to think about preserving in the late summer and autumn months. It’s when we can see winter looming, that we start to think of jams and chutneys, jellies and pickles. However, bottling (or jarring) a little of that spring joie de vivre for the winter months is the winter months is a good idea, even if the reality is you end up drinking all your elderflower cordial straightaway…
There are many recipes for elderflower cordial, but this one is pretty delicious…
Heat 2 pints of water with 3lbs granulated sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Leave to cool.
Put in a large bowl with another pint of water, 4 sliced oranges, 1 sliced lemon, 2oz citric acid and 25 elderflower heads. Cover
and leave for 24 hours before straining through fine cloth and pour into sterilised bottles. Make sure they are properly sealed
and keep somewhere cool and dark or in the fridge.
Rhubarb Lemon Marmalade
This recipe is adapted from a lovely book called ‘Let’s Preserve It’ by Beryl Wood, containing 579 recipes for preserving. We love that they didn’t try to round it up to 580!
Peel 6 lemons. Put the finely sliced peel in a bowl with 1pt water. Then squeeze the lemons and add the juice. Slice the remaining pith and put in muslin bag with pips. Add to bowl, cover, and stand overnight. Then put into pan with 3 lbs sliced rhubarb and simmer for 20 minutes. Check peel is soft; remove bag, add 3lbs sugar, stirring till dissolved. Bring to boil and cook steadily to set. Pot in sterilised jars.
Plunge 150g fresh garlic into a pan of boiling water for one min. Drain and pat dry. Peel the cloves and pack into a warm sterilised jar adding half a tsp of fennel seeds, 4 peppercorns and 2 bay leaves. In a small pan put 80ml cider vinegar and 20g granulated sugar.
-Boil for two minutes, then pour over the garlic and seal with a vinegar proof lid.
Easy Rhubarb and Gooseberry jam (using microwave)
This great jam recipe is from Angela Moore via allotment holder Jean Nettleton and uses 800g of prepared rhubarb and gooseberries (any combo of weight).
Place the rhubarb into a large glass bowl, uncovered, and cook in a microwave on high for four mins – it should start to soften. Add the gooseberries and cook for a further three minutes. Carefully crush fruit with a potato masher. Add 1kg sugar, one sachet of pectin and a knob of butter and stir.
Cook on high, uncovered, for a further 14 minutes, stirring halfway. The jam should boil vigorously for four minutes during this time. Pot in sterilised jam jars.