Monday, 27 June 2011

How to preserve fruit by bottling

Bottling is a very useful way of preserving fruit gluts for use throughout the winter. Fruit selected for bottling should be fresh, firm and free from signs of disease. 

Hard fruits should be washed thoroughly and left to dry before preparation. Soft fruits should be soaked in a salt solution for five minutes to remove any insects or grubs and then left to dry before preparation. Bottling is best done using glass jars, such as the Kilner jars in the picture, which have airtight tops.

Prepare hard fruits for bottling in syrup as follows:-


(1) Apples and pears should be peeled, cored and quartered. 
(2) Apricots, plums, nectarines and peaches should have stalks removed and bottled whole or halved and the stones removed.
(3) Figs should be top and tailed and washed 

Prepare soft fruits for bottling in syrup as follows:-

(1) Strawberries should be hulled and carefully washed
(2) Blackcurrants, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and redcurrants should be de-stalked, washed carefully and any fruit showing maggot damage discarded.

Syrup:-

Prepare a syrup for packing fruit by using 250g of sugar for every 600ml of water. Dissolve the sugar, over a low heat, in 300ml of water and once dissolved add the other 300ml of water.

Pack the fruit tightly into pre-sterilised preserving jars and pour over the syrup. Tap the bottles to remove any air bubbles before sealing. Store in a cool, dry and dark area and enjoy through the winter.

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