Making preserves

Appears in

Twelve

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2003

  • About
Although much of Tuscan cooking relies on produce brought directly to the table, cooks also utilise preserves which, in themselves, add variety to a menu, and make out-of-season produce available.
The recipes in this book use products collected from home-grown fields a couple of hours before they were preserved.
There are a few rules to observe when preserving foods:
  • The products should be very fresh and unblemished.
  • The glass jars in which they are to be preserved, must be thoroughly cleaned, sterilised and dried.
  • The tops or lids used should always be new and fit tightly.
  • The fruit or vegetables should be tightly packed into the jars, sealed, then processed (brought to the boil and boiled for at least 20 minutes) in their sealed jars. If they are not to be processed, any air-bubbles should be removed by pushing the ingredients down with a fork. They should then remain covered with their preserving liquid (oil, vinegar, syrup etc.).
  • Clean cutlery should always be used in extracting the contents of the jars.
  • The jars should be kept in a cool, dark place and once opened, stored in the refrigerator and consumed fairly quickly.
  • It is better to make more jars of smaller quantities, which can then be consumed relatively quickly instead of leaving opened jars in the refrigerator for a long time.
  • If at any time the contents of a jar look or smell suspicious, the jar should be discarded.