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Jun 15, 2007 08:12 AM

Pickles, preserves, jams -- how do you preserve summer vegetables and fruits?

What's your favorite vegetable or fruit to preserve? How do you do it? I've been using the same recipes over and over, so I'm looking for something new to do with all the wonderful fruits and vegetables I'm seeing at the farmers markets.

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  1. Here are four recipes I do almost every year. Both the tomato chutney and peach chutney are terrific, and they have so many uses, from sandwiches to dips (solo or mixed with cream cheese, etc) to accompaniments to roasted meats. The corn relish is great if you like such a thing, and this is the best apple butter you will ever taste, hands down. It has less sugar, more spice than most and is dark, rich and wonderful.


    4 quarts finely chopped, peeled peaches
    1 cup raisens
    1 cup chopped onions
    3 cups brown sugar
    1/4 cup mustard seed
    2 tablespoons ginger
    2 tsp salt
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 hot red pepper, finely chopped
    1 sweet red pepeer, chopped
    5 cups white vinegar

    Combine all in a large sauce pot. Cook slowly until thick, about 40 minutes.


    4 1/2 pds ripe tomatoes
    6 medium onions
    4 green apples
    6 peaches
    5 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
    1 quart white vinegar
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp cloves
    1 tsp coriander
    2 tsp chili powder

    Place tomatoes, onions, apples, peaches brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and spices in large saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until thick, about 2 hours. Spoon into jars and sterilize.


    18 ears of corn
    2 cups chopped sweet red peppers
    2 cups chopped green peppers
    1 quart chopped celery
    1 cup chopped onions
    2 cups sugar
    3 cups white vinegar
    2 tbs salt
    2 teas. celery seed
    1/4 cup flour
    2 tbs hot mustard
    (1 tsp ginger)
    (1 tsp allspice)
    1 tsp ground tumeric

    - Simmer corn for five minutes. Dip into cold water. Cut kernals from cob.

    - Combine corn, peppers, celery, onions, sugar, 1 cup water, vinegar, salt and celery seeds. Simmer 15 minutes.

    - Combine flour and 1/2 cup water. Add mustard and tumeric. Add to corn mixture. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

    Pack into containers. Sterilize.


    7 cups peeled and diced apples, cooked about an hour in cider to soften
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    2 T cinnamon
    2 t allspice
    2 t cloves

    Combine all ingredients in a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil; simmer, stirring often until you reach you desired thickness. (Use the apples with a little bit of the cider, adding cider as necessary to keep from being too thick.)

    Sterilize in mason jars.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tom P

      I made some lovely gooseberry lime jelly -- I think I tinkered with the gooseberry recipe on the Certo box.
      I'm always experimenting with preserves.

      Right now my favorite 'go-to' preserve cookbook is Elly Topf 's The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving -- everything I've tried has been good but if it wasn't it wouldn't matter because the batch sizes are 3 to 4 1/2 pint jars -- if you want more, just make another batch!

    2. I made some excellent rhubarb chutney last weekend. I 've made pickles or chutneys or anything like that before. I was quite please with how it turned out. I think it will go really well with pork of all sorts and my friends who were over plan on slathering it on venison.
      I don't measure so this recipe will be a bit rough.
      2-3 lbs rhubarb
      tsp+ black mustard seeds
      tsp+ yellow mustard seeds
      Tbs Coriader seeds
      1/2 Tbs Cloves
      pounded this up in mortar and pestle
      1 vidalia onion chopped fine
      3 cloves garlic minced
      3 inches of ginger minced
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      1.2 cup white sugar
      2 cinnamon sticks
      4 dried arbol chilis
      1/4 cup cider vinegar
      salt to Taste
      1tsp+ fresh gound black pepper
      1 cup water
      Threw it into a dutch oven and cook on med-low for about 1-1.5 hours until it achieved desired thickness.

      1. What recipes are you using over and over?

        I do brandied fruit, especially cherries ever year.

        In a sink fill jar with washed whole cherries with pits
        Fill to the brim with E & J brandy
        Add a teaspoon of sugar
        Place lid ... a little brandy will overflow but I don't want airspace.
        Place in fridge and turn over every few days until sugar dissolves.
        Put in back of the fridge ... open at Christmas and enjoy.

        This works with sliced or halved stone fruit like peaches and apricots ... not plums.
        Berries don't brandy well, but doing the above with blackberries will produce the most wonderful blackberry brandy. Remove shrivelled berries before driniking. The juice goes into the brandy leaving the seeds behind. I don't steralize the jars ... just wash well ... with all that booze not much can live in those jars, but steralize if that makes you feel better.

        Here's a recipe for bread & butter radishes from Chow.

        1. Last year I slow-roasted a case of plum tomatoes, then canned them in olive oil. We're gradually coming to an end of the 60+lbs. They made good tomato sauces possible during the winter months. I plan to do the same this year.

          To slow roast, cut each tomato in half lengthwise. I sprinkle with a little salt, and roast in a low 200 - 250F) oven for around 2 hours. They shrink considerably. At this point they're delectable, like potato chips. I then packed them into canning jars, filled with olive oil and canned.

          I also smoke-roasted them in a smoker over hickory at low temps. This makes for fabulous eating out of hand, also great to can and eat later.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cheryl_h

            I've done the same thing (slow-roasted) but froze the tomatoes without all the olive oil. They keep really well in the freezer and add a nice punch of flavor... softer than sun-dried, so not as leathery.

          2. First of all buy this book. It has great no fail recipes and once you get the hang of a particular fruit or vegetable or recipe, you can make endless variations. I have made amazing pickled green beans and bread and butter pickles, along with many wonderful jams. However, more people seem to want the pickled vegetables than the jams, so I will focus on those this year. I can't wait to start. unhttp://www.amazon.com/Blue-Ribbon-Preserves-.... While not in this book, I also roast tomatoes and garlic with sea salt and olive oil, can them and put them up for the winter.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ellen

              I have this hobby of making jams and jellies each year, giving them as presents for
              different reasons to my relative , friends, and neighbors, can you just imagene my wife
              who I have been seperated for over two years wants me to send her some apple jelly
              that I make and she lives in Nebraska and I am in california.. I guess I have aleast one thing right. my favorite is a peach jam that I make with crushed pineapple and marascino cherrys.