Try these delicious recipes for jams and preserves to keep enjoying the flavours of sun-kissed fruits and fresh produce even in the depths of winter
These days, the serious foodies are all about seasonal eating. That’s all very well in the warmer months when the produce is fresh and plentiful. But in the middle of winter when the only seasonal produce are a few turnips, suddenly poly-tunnel tomatoes from South Africa sound incredibly appealing. There is an alternative, however: make preserves while the sun shines. That way you can hold on to the fresh flavours of summer and ensure that nothing goes to waste in the months where there’s a glut of produce.Ratatouille preserve
Preserves aren’t just for fruits. Try this in the middle of winter and you’ll feel transported to a Provençal summer.
Wash two aubergines, slice them, salt them and leave for 30 minutes. Then rinse. Wash three courgettes, two peppers and five tomatoes, peel and onion and chop them all in to even chunks. Fry the onion in some olive oil, then add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cook gently for two hours. Then put them into sterilised jars, seal, and put the jars in boiling water for 30 minutes to preserve the contents. Unseal later as a sauce for pasta or an accompaniment for meat.Fig and Amaretto jam
Delicious with sharp blue cheese and crackers
Wash 2kg of figs, removing the ends and cutting the fruit into pieces. Pour 1kg of jam sugar into a saucepan with the juice of two lemons, their zest and the figs. Stir over a low heat until the juices are released and dissolve the sugar. As the mixture softens, turn up the heat and bring it to the boil. After 15 minutes boiling, add four tablespoons of Amaretto liqueur. Boil for another minute, then allow it to cool for 15 minutes, before ladling into sterilised jars. Then place the jars in boiling water for 20 minutes to preserve the contents.Apricot and vanilla jam
Try this fragrant summery preserve with Greek yoghurt
Wash 1.5kg of apricots and slice them. Place them in a pan, cover with 800g of jam sugar, the juice of one lemon and the vanilla pod, split lengthways. Cook on a low heat until the sugar dissolves, and then for 25 minutes more, as the mixture thickens. Remove the vanilla pod and leave for 20 minutes before pouring into sterilised jars.