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Have you done any apricot bottling lately? Or any other fruit? If you’ve never tried it before, we highly recommend it. Bottling is really easy, and a great way to preserve the summer bounty to enjoy through winter.
Our farm is a demonstration of how you can grow and preserve an entire year’s supply of fruit for your family. Each year we practise what we preach and bottle a heap of fruit to see us through winter.
We aim to preserve enough each year so we don’t need to buy fruit at all. Throughout summer and autumn, we’re busily filling the pantry whenever we have time.
Early in the season, there’s not much fruit around except apricots and cherries. These are some of our favourites, so we aim to fill lots of jars with them.
It goes without saying that we also eat as many as we can while they’re fresh and in season, as well as cooking with them.
We also harvest lots of berries in summer, and love bottling them as well. They freeze really well, but we tend not to eat fruit out of the freezer as much as we do from a jar. It suits us better to preserve by bottling.
Berry tart recipe
Berry tarts (or pie) are one of our favourite ways to eat berries. They are quick and really easy to make, and very delicious. The whole thing only takes about half an hour from start to finish.
Here’s the recipe to make about 24 tarts:
Gluten free pastry
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1/4 cup cornflour
- 1/4 cup besan flour
- knob butter
Make pastry your usual way. Roll out, and use a glass or pastry cutter to cut tart-sized rounds. Cook in greased tart tins (like shallow muffin trays) for about 8 mins or until done.
Put about 400g berries in a saucepan, add about 1/2 cup sugar (or enough to sweeten to taste). Cook, stirring all the while until the sugar is completely melted and a syrup is forming. It’s great if some of the berries retain their shape.
In a cup, mix 2 heaped teaspoons of cornflour with just enough water to make it liquid. Add to berry mixture, and stir until the cornflour is completely cooked and the mixture starts to thicken. The mixture will go cloudy when you add the cornflour, so keep cooking until it has gone clear again.
Fill pastry cases with berry mixture and set aside to cool and set.
To find out more about fruit preserving for home use, download Fabulous Fruit Preserving. It includes instructions for how to bottle fruit using equipment found in most home kitchens, as well as details about freezing, jam, and dehydrating (and even includes instructions for making your own fruit dehydrator!)
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If you thicken your cooked berries with arrowroot then it thickens without going cloudy. You will need more arrowroot to thicken than if using cornflour.
I do preserve my fruit in a vacola but I’ve never heard of preserving berries I’ve googled it I don’t see much information do you just put the fruit and water in and preserve the same as other fruit
Do not put water with berries when bottling them, start them off with a low heat and enough juice will appear, bring to boil and bottle.
We preserve a lot of our blackberries so that they can be used in desserts over the colder months.
We have gone away from the vacola system and use screw top jars as we get them for nothing from friends and we purchase new lids at a cost of about 13 cents each and we find that we can reuse these for a number of years.
All of our excess fruit is preserved by bringing it to the boil and then putting into hot jars that have been washed and heated in the gas oven at 120 degrees for 20 minutes. The lids are put in a stainless steel bowl and steralised by pouring boiling water on them for several minutes. The lids must be completely dry befor putting them on the jars.