When summer comes round, there's nothing better than fresh fruits. Just because it's turned cold doesn't mean you have to miss out.
There are so many ways to preserve fruits, keeping them fresh and exciting.
From a basic jam, to a warming fruit crumble for a Sunday afternoon. It doesn't matter what your fruit of choice is, as long as you are doing your bit to reduce your food waste.
Freezing fruits is one of the best ways to preserve it. You are then able to use it as and when you please, either straight from the freezer or allowing it to defrost overnight.
To avoid fruit such as berries sticking together in a big clump, it's a good idea to wash them, lay them out on a tray, freeze them individually and then you can take them back out and place them into a bag, seal it well and leave them in the freezer until required.
Baking apples is a lovely way to enjoy such a versatile fruit, just core and stuff them with sultanas and spices such as cinnamon. However if you don't get round to using them, you can do the same process of freezing. Slice up any apples you have, wash and dry and repeat the same process as above for berries.
Making jams and marmalade not only make your kitchen smell incredible, but spread onto freshly toasted bread there's nothing better! So simple yet delicious.
You can throw any combination of fruit into a jam jar, there's a lot of freedom with it. A few different ideas; include blackberries with basil and vanilla, or even bananas combined with citrus such as lemon or orange, the possibilities are endless!
At Elysia, for our winter menus, we use a method of preserving called maceration whereby we soften the fruits in an alcohol or syrup, the fruit absorbs any liquid or flavourings around it and creates something really delicious to add on any dessert.
Our poached fruits recipe:
For fruits in syrup:
Light fruits (ex: plums) 1L of water for 250gr of sugar
Medium weight fruits (ex: peaches, pears) 1L of water for 350gr of sugar
Heavy fruits (ex: pineapple) 1L of water for 650gr sugar
Example: Peel, core, and quarter the pears or the fruits you have.
In a large pot, add the sugar, water, and spices (if using). Bring to a boil. Transfer the pear quarters to the boiling sugar water. Let come to a boil again, cook for 5 minutes (depending on the size of the fruit). Pack your canning jars with the pears. Pour the remaining syrup over the pears to cover, leaving 1/2-inch of headroom from the tops of the jars. Wipe the rims with a paper towel. Put on the lids and sterilise.
To sterilise: you'll need a large pot with a rack at the bottom (or kitchen paper) so that the jars don't touch the bottom of the pan. Fill three quarters of the way with hot water and put on the stove to bring to a boil. Place the filled jars inside and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Simply leave to cool.
There really is no excuse for fruit being thrown away or wasted.