When we start looking for some winter cheer, what could be finer than adding a spoonful of rich nectarine marmalade to your morning oatmeal; adding a spicy peach chutney to your curry; or spreading lashings of sweet plum jelly on a hot buttered muffin?

With the summer stone fruit season coming to an end, soon those ripe peaches, plums and nectarines will not be around but there is still a sure-fire way for you enjoy some fruity goodness once the cold starts to bite. It just takes a bit of time.

Preserving fruit is a great way to get your daily dose of fruit and what is even better, is that it is also a money-saving trick. Instead of buying them pre-packaged in little jars in supermarkets, you can now buy these fruits fresh in bulk and preserve them yourself.

An added bonus is that since South Africa has experienced widespread drought, the fruits harvested during this previous summer season are smaller and sweeter and they will add even more depth of flavour and sweetness to your bottled products.

Here are just some recipes to get you on your way.

Plum and Port Jelly:

To be enjoyed with cheese or pork dish.

Storage: We don’t think this will last very long as it is that good but once you open it, do keep it in the fridge

Ingredients:
About 5kg of dark plums
Water
Sugar
Port
Method:
Cut plums in half, keep pips in. Place in a stainless steel pot and just cover with water. Boil until soft, making sure they do not burn at the bottom

Strain overnight through cheesecloth
Place the strained juice in a large pot (ensure the pot is only ½ full to allow for boiling
Add 1kg of sugar for each litre of plum juice
Bring to the boil and cook until you are able to test syrup on plate and can run your finger through it without it running back together
When the consistency is correct, add 4 tablespoons of port for each litre of juice
Pour into sterilized bottles and seal

Peach and Jalapeno Chutney:

Store in a cool, dark place
Can last up to a year unopened

Ready to eat in about ten days
Store in fridge after opening

Great with cheese, curries, cold meats

Ingredients:
5kg peeled, de-stoned and finely chopped peaches (we used yellow cling)

2kg finely diced onions

6 cups brown sugar

Juice of 3 lemons

1 cup grape vinegar

3 teaspoons garlic paste

14 jalapeno chilies, seeds removed and finely chopped (use a mixture of green and red) – 3 of them with the seeds.

3 teaspoons grated ginger

Salt to taste

Method:

Cook half the peaches and all the ingredients together in a large stainless steel pot for at least 3 hours, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.

When thick, add the remainder of the diced peaches. Cook for about ½ hour longer or until thick.

Pour into sterilized bottles

To sterilize the bottles:
Rinse in hot water and place empty into a microwave for 5 min on high.
Place lids in boiling water and dry thoroughly

Recipes by Carla Bryan – Udderly Delicious Darling

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