This time of year there are lots of crops getting ripe on trees like apples, pears and feijoas. If you don't have fruit trees, you'll find these in-season fruits at great prices in fruit shops and supermarkets. It makes good sense to preserve fruit now for use in the winter months; it saves money and energy, and feels great. Here are some preserving tips:
- Use your freezer to preserve raw fruit: scoop feijoas out of their skins and freeze with a squeeze of lemon juice in ziplock bags. Don't forget to label!
- Do the same with lightly cooked apple; simmer until soft and collapsed with a little sugar and water. Thaw for mid-winter apple pie.
- Preserve halved or quartered pears in a light syrup (3 parts water to 1 part sugar). Add a vanilla pod for lovely flavour. Pack into sterilised jars when hot.
- Save your old jam jars – wash and dry them thoroughly and then sterilise them in the oven for 15 minutes at 120°C, before using for jam and preserves.
- Try making quince paste: cook peeled and quartered quinces in a little water and sugar for 3-4 hours until they're a plummy colour. Purée with a stick blender, then pour into a tray until set. Slice into squares and serve with cheese (it keeps for months in the fridge).