While preserving is not difficult in itself, it is important to store your produce in the correct style of jar or bottle to ensure the maximum freshness. 300ml glass jars are the standard for jam making, but there is much more you can do with them than just fill them with your breakfast favourites.
Choosing 300ml glass jars
If you are preserving in bulk, a bargain pack of 300ml glass jars is the most economical purchase. The key is an airtight seal. This usually means selecting a screw top jar and using wax discs atop the produce. Always sterilise your jars thoroughly before filling and store in a cool, dark place. Once opened, keep preserves in the fridge.
Use 300ml glass jars to preserve the seasons
It’s hard to argue against the environmental merits of eating seasonably, but it can be frustrating to get only short term access to your favourite foods.
July is a great time to enjoy cherries but their season is depressingly short. However, this recipe for cherries preserved in port with orange and cinnamon works well with chocolate or cream dishes all year round.
- 300g light brown sugar
- 150ml port
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 350g fresh cherries, washed and stalks removed
Add the sugar, port, cinnamon and orange zest to a saucepan, along with the orange juice and 150ml of water. Slowly bring the ingredients to the boil, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil for three minutes to reach a thick, syrupy consistency then set aside and allow to cool completely.
If you have a destoning device you may prefer to remove the stones from the cherries but they tend to hold their shape better with the stones in – just remember to warn people before they take a bite! Fill a couple of 300ml jam jars with the cherries then fill to the top with the cooled syrup. If well sealed, the cherries will keep up to a month.
July is also a great month for cucumbers, which make an interesting and unusual preserve served with burgers or in a roast beef sandwich.
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 60ml white vinegar
- 50g sugar
- 6cm fresh root ginger, grated
- 4 pieces of stem ginger in sugar syrup, thinly sliced
Cut the cucumber into long, thin strips to fit upright in 300ml glass jars. Place the strips in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then rinse the cucumber slices in cold water, drain well and return them to the bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the cucumber and mix together thoroughly. Decant into 300ml glass jars and keep in the refrigerator.