Food & Entertaining - In Season

Stone fruit preserving tips

By
Pat Crocker
Photography by
Stacey Van Berkel

The bright flavours and crisp freshness of summer's harvest will last for months


Preserving cherries

Purchasing and storing
1 pound fresh fruit yields about 2½ cups of pitted cherries. You will need about 1½ pounds of cherries for each 1-litre jar. Select large, firm and deeply coloured cherries with no blemishes.

Pairs well with: Spicy herbs, such as bay, tarragon or rosemary, and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg; also try vanilla or almond

Preparation

Wash cherries in a sink full of cool water to which a drop of food-safe soap has been added. Discard any cherries that float. Rinse well, drain and pat dry.

Preserving peaches

Purchasing and storing
1 pound (about 3 medium peaches) yields 2½ to 3 cups sliced. You will need 2 to 2½ pounds for each 1-litre jar. Select firm, plump fruits with no touch of green or bruising. Peaches should give slightly when gently pressed and should not be soft.

Pairs well with:
Herbs, such as rosemary, basil, bay, or thyme, and spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves or nutmeg; also try vanilla or almond

Preparation
Blanch peaches in boiling water for 45 seconds until skins loosen; plunge into cold water and slip off the skins. Cut lengthwise in half and remove the stone.

Preserving plums

Purchasing and storing
1 pound yields 2 to 2½ cups of plum halves. You will need 1 to 1½ pounds for each 1-litre jar. Select firm fruits with a pleasant aroma that are heavy and firm yet yield to gentle pressure. Ripe plums will be slightly soft at the stem end, and the skin should have a powdery bloom. Avoid hard or mushy, bruised, stained plums.

Pairs well with: Herbs, such as basil, bay, thyme and ginger, and spices like allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon or nutmeg

Preparation
Stem and wash plums in cool water to which a drop of food-safe soap has been added. Rinse well, drain and pat dry. For most canning recipes, the pits and skins are not removed. Prick the skins of whole plums with a fork to prevent splitting.

Preserving nectarines

Purchasing and storing
1 pound (about 3 medium nectarines) yields 2½ to 3 cups sliced. You will need roughly 1 pound for each 1-litre jar. Select firm, plump fruits with no touch of green or bruising. Ripe nectarines have a fragrant aroma and give slightly when pressure is applied along the seam.

Pairs well with: Herbs, such as basil, bay, thyme, chives, rosemary, chervil or tarragon, and spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves or nutmeg; also try vanilla or almond

Preparation
Wash under cool running water. The thin, smooth skin of nectarines is usually left on the fruit but can be removed with a vegetable peeler. Cut lengthwise in half and remove the stone. Slice or use nectarine halves.

* Discover the best varieties for preserving here!


Excerpted from Preserving by Pat Crocker (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., ©2011) All rights reserved.

 

Read more in Food & Entertaining and In Season

  • Page 1: Stone fruit preserving tips

Follow Style At Home Online

Facebook Activity

Contests

Latest Contests

more contests