Last week it happened to be apricots. A whole box of them from the Victoria Market! (Well, granted, the box was only 5kg, but still, 'box' sounds so much more grander doesn't it?!). I've discovered fruit inspired excursions to the Vic Market are soooo much fun, things are just so cheap and twice, no three times the size of fruit commonly seen elsewhere. Mangoes the size of a small pineapple! A meal in itself!
So, back to the preserving addiction, I decided to bottle up my humble six kilos of peaches and happened to take a few snaps along the way...
Fowers Vacola Peaches
First up the seals were placed in a bowl and covered with warm from the kettle water to soak.
Next, these oh so glorious peaches of mine were halved and stoned using a small paring knife and a sturdy teaspoon (sitting at the kitchen table while doing this kind of work makes for a much more pleasant experience!).
They were then peeled using my old, favourite vegetable peeler. I suppose they could also be blanched in boiling water to remove the skins but I really didn't want overcooked peaches so decided to prepare them this way..
After peeling, each half was sliced into quarters and packed into the clean jars. Note - remember to put rubber seal on jar before filling jar to brim, it's much easier!
The peaches were packed alternately with warm sugar syrup (I used a light syrup, 1:3 sugar to water). They fruit was packed firmly until the jar was nearly full, leaving a headspace of 10-12mm. Ensuring the seal was not twisted, I gave it a quick wipe to make sure no peachy debris was caught on there..
The lids were then positioned and the clips secured in place..
This is how the clips look when correctly positioned:
They should be centered and the groove of the clip should be sitting under the glass lip of the jar.
The jars are then ready for processing in the Fowlers Vacola steriliser. As I have an old 'Year Rounder', I put mine in for 1 hour, although different models take different amounts of time.
Below, the bottles after they have been processed and allowed to cool.
If not, either re-process or place the jar in the fridge to eat up first.
I couldn't resist stacking my jars somewhere I could admire them for a couple of days...in amongst the rest of my addiction jars...
The last couple of weeks have seen bottled peaches (yuh!), bottled apricots, blackberry cordial, raspberry jam with apple and rhubarb (after Kirsty gave me a delicous jar of hers!), strawberry jam with rhubarb, plum jam, four berry jam and apricot jam with brandy. I'm finding rhubarb really is a most delicious addition to berry jams, have you tried adding some to yours?
What are you preserving at the moment?