Developed during by the French army during the Napoleonic wars to make food last, perfected by Grannies for generations since.
Diana’s peacharines, omega and black doris plums, black boy peaches and quinces are ideal. But be disciplined: Diana refuses to open a jar before June, or they are gone all too quickly.
Ask your retailer for bulk quantities—Diana does a great line of seconds, but be prepared to process them the day you receive them. It’s important to use completely sound fruit—so carefully remove any dodgy looking spots.
Methods for: slow and quick water bath, dry and wet pack oven, pressure cooker. If you want preserves to drool over on your shelves for the rest of the year, here’s how to create eye-candy
Superwoman method for preserving fruit by the truck load
—also requires a rudimentary knowledge of metal work and pyrotechnics. For the seriously committed.
Be creative! Try little extras… Passionfruit added to peaches add a tropical zing. A tablespoon of brandy (or your personal favourite tipple) provides a little kick. Root ginger adds gourmet flair to quinces. If you are diabetic, try a sugar substitute—but remember they won’t keep as well once opened so refrigerate.