Peacharines (Healeys)

Our premium product
Natural peach/nectarine cross
Soft, thin, non-furry skin - like an apricot
Firm, orange flesh with an intense perfume and sweet juicy flavour
Fabulous eaten fresh
Will keep up to three weeks after picking
Stunning stewed/preserved (leave the skin on)
Semi-clingstone
Keep well in a fruit bowl, or the fridge for longer
Available from February to April
High in Carotene and Vitamin C and other health giving properties

Black Boy Peaches

A traditional stewing variety, but delicious fresh too
Dense, almost blood red flesh
Very furry—most people peel
Stunning preserved/bottled
Soften as they ripen
Fabulous eaten fresh
Will keep up to three weeks after picking
Free stone
Keep well in a fruit bowl, or the fridge for longer
Available from mid March
Limited supply—order early from your retailer
High in anti-oxidants and other health giving properties

Quinces

Traditional central European delicacy
Fragrant but often unusual shapes
A pear relation
Rich, thick yellow skin
Not generally eaten raw—a bit woody
Cut in half lengthwise, and fill with brown sugar or honey
Roast slowly, or cover and microwave
Serve with yoghurt, whipped or ice cream
Makes wonderful jelly or jam
Great bottled
Quince paste (Membrillo) is a traditional cheese accompaniment
Keep well in a fruit bowl, or the fridge or a cool place for longer
Available from Late March

Black Doris Plums

Firm, purple flesh with an intense perfume and sweet juicy flavour
Fabulous eaten fresh
Will keep up to three weeks after picking
Stunning stewed/preserved
Watties traditional variety
Makes great jam and plum sauce
Free-stone
Keep well in a fruit bowl, or the fridge for longer
Available from late February
High in anti-oxidants and other health giving properties


Omega Plums

Gold toned red skin
Dense rich red flesh
Superb eaten raw
Hold shape well when cooked
Great jam variety
Free-stone Will keep up to three weeks after picking
Keep well in a fruit bowl, or the fridge for longer
Silver bloom indicates freshly picked—polishes beautifully
Available from mid to late March
High in anti-oxidants and other health giving properties

Preserves

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.

Preserving Methods

The Overflow Method

Preserving for dummies—Diana’s personal choice. Quick and easy. No pictures, but hey, who needs to picture a saucepan, bottles, fruit and sugar? But Perfit’s (the seal manufacturers) version does

Allotment’s guide to preserving methods

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

Preserve Fruit NZ

Superwoman method for preserving fruit by the truck load —also requires a rudimentary knowledge of metal work and pyrotechnics. For the seriously committed.

Special Extras

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.