Strawberry & Basil Conserve
1200 grams strawberries (prepared) must be fresh not shop bought
400 grams Jam sugar
3½ tablespoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2½ tablespoons lime juice
2½ teaspoons lime peel, finely grated
• Clean and hull strawberries. Cut strawberries into pieces. Then weigh to make
• 1.2 kg fruit for conserve.
• In a preserving pan mix strawberries, preserving sugar and lime juice.
• Let stand for 2 hours, mixing from time to time.
• Over medium high heat bring to a boil stirring all the time.
• Boil strawberry mixture for 4 minutes, stirring all the time.
• Remove from heat and add lime peel. Mix.
• Add coarsely chopped basil and mix.
• Fill into preserving jars and seal.
• Let stand for 1 minute and then turn up side down.
• Let stand for 10 minutes and turn over again.
• Let cool completely.
• Conserve should set very quickly – almost solid. If unsure of set add pectin.
• Wash and dry jars then cool in fridge before filling – helps the fast set!!
• Makes 3 x 400 gram jars.
Strawberry & Mint Conserve
2.2 kg strongly-flavoured Strawberries
2 kg Jam sugar
2 dozen mint leaves
2 Organic Lemons
• Wash one of the lemons, remove the zest and blanch for 5 minutes in boiling water, then drain and grate finely. Press the juice of both lemons.
• Wash and dry the strawberries with a cloth, remove the stalks and cut into quarters.
• Place the strawberries into a large bowl, alternating layers with the sugar jam.
• Drizzle with the lemon juice and add zest.
• Cover with a cloth and leave to steep for a maximum of 12 hours.
• Pour the contents of the bowl into a jam-making pot or large saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
• Add the mint leaves.
Check the jam is ready by pouring a little onto a cold plate held at a sideways angle. The jam should stick instantly and not run.
Soon afterwards, pot the jam into clean, dry pots. Leave to cool completely before putting the lids on. Label and store the jam away from light and damp.
Raspberry & Violet Conserve
This conserve is a bit different as it is cooked in a cauldron, using traditional Breton methods and only 500g of sugar for 1 kg of fruit and without added preservatives, the fruit retains all its taste and nutritional qualities. Then a touch of magic is added, that produces an imaginative blend, full of flavour. A simple recipe which brings together the flavour of raspberry, so strong and fruity, with the soft and soothing flavour of violet. Delicious on toast!
2 kg Fresh Raspberries
1 kg Jam Sugar
A few drops of Natural Violet Essence
• Wash the raspberries and then place in the cauldron. Simmer very gently in their own juice until soft and pulpy.
• Add the sugar, and stir thoroughly until dissolved. Then add a few drops of Natural Violet Essence, one drop at a time, stirring and tasting each time until the flavour is to your liking. Be careful, you are tasting hot conserve!!
• Once dissolved, boil rapidly until setting point is reached, 105°C/221°F on a sugar thermometer. Alternately, test by putting a little of the jam on a cold saucer. If the surface of the jam wrinkles when you push a finger over it then it has reached setting point.
• Spoon the hot jam into hot, sterilised jars, filling to the necks, cover with waxed paper discs and cool. Once cooled seal and store until using.
Another traditional Breton recipe with Lavender adding a floral note. This one takes a bit more skill as all the ingredients are very fresh and the preparation time is somewhat extended, allow 2 hours.
4 teaspoons dried culinary lavender buds
1 kilo ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
150 grams fresh raspberries, rinsed
3 cups jam sugar
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Place the lavender buds in a small bowl. Pour ¼ cup boiling water over the buds and let steep 10 minutes. Strain the scented water into a bowl and set aside; discard buds.
In a preserving pan over medium-high heat, combine peaches, raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until liquid has the consistency of thick maple syrup, about 14 minutes. Stir in the lavender water and boil, stirring often, another 2 minutes, or until mixture reaches desired thickness.
Remove jam from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Pour into jars and seal.
Note: This conserve MUST be stored in a refrigerator.
Green tomato Conserve with ginger and vanilla
Makes about 4 300 gm jars
2kg green tomatoes
½ the weight in sugar of the tomatoes, once the tomatoes have been de-seeded and diced
5 cm chunk ginger, peeled
1 vanilla bean
Juice of 1 lemon, organic if possible
Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and squeeze out the seeds if they seem to have a lot of seeds. Cut the tomatoes into small dice and weigh them to find out what quantity of sugar you will need. Slice the ginger against the grain and then chop it finely. Slit the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds with a knife, holding each half flat against the board as you scrape.
Place the tomatoes, sugar, ginger, vanilla bean with its seeds and lemon juice in a large saucepan or a copper jam basin if you have one. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and let the jam bubble happily and reduce until thickened. It should look like a thick, syrupy green tomato sauce, which can take up to 2 hours. To test for doneness, drip some of the liquid onto a cold plate. If it sets, the jam is done.
Meanwhile sterilize the pots, either by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes or washing them well and placing them in the oven at 180 C to dry for 20 minutes. Fill the pots with the jam while both are still very hot. Seal with very clean lids.