Preserving fruit

November 2, 2008 at 7:27 pm Leave a comment

I like to sleep. I also like staying up late at night. Eventually, the body wins. Something must’ve knocked me out yesterday because I was horizontal for most of the 24 hours that was Saturday. Can’t have been the massive food shopping and cooking detail, no no.

From a huge farmer’s market, we indulged in spicy smoked sausages, hand-stuffed olives (must try making those), local farmhouse cheese and delicious salt-bush lamb. Salt-bush lamb are sheep that graze in drier, harsher, outback conditions. Their meat is surprisingly not gamey but is deeply evenly flavoured. Just fantastic.

This week’s recipe give-out is a challenge to make your own pickle or conserve. Probably the easiest to make is jam. Pick a tart fruit, cook it with the same weight in sugar, and add the juice and zest of one lemon. Microwave jars to sterilise, pour in the cooling jam, and cap them tightly.  They make great gifts.

If you like extreme pickles, try preserving lemons for cooking. Get unwaxed, thick rind lemons. Quarter them almost to the tip, rub salt inside and outside them then line them up in the jar – adding a spoon of salt for each lemon that goes in. You can spice them up with bay leaves, peppercorns, chilli or other whole spices. Cover the whole lot with fresh lemon juice, as much as possible, as during pickling you’ll be turning the bottle every week.

After at least 6 weeks, the lemon rinds are ready for use. Remove the pulp and thinly cut the rind, you’ll use only a little, when stewing lamb or other sweetish, earthy dishes. Ideal for Moroccon and North African meat dishes.

You could pickle other citrus fruits such as limes, oranges, citrons, tomatoes etc in a variety of pickling agents, juice them or even oven dry them. They are well worth making.

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Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.