For me – and my toast – Spiced Blueberry Jam is at the pinnacle of preserves. Unlike other jams – strawberry jam, rhubarb and ginger jam – blueberries maintain their structure and texture throughout the jamming process. Dried and concentrated, the presence of whole berries adds a welcome burst of flavour – or several – to every mouthful. The experience is truly divine.
Though indigenous more or less across the European continent, gooseberries are best known for their use, traditionally, in the British Isles, which has a climate particularly well-suited to their cultivation. Now, usually when I get my hands on a berry at this time of the year it immediately gets preserved – strawberry jam, raspberry jam, apricot jam – but it seemed a shame not to experiment a little with such a little used ingredient. So, Gooseberry and Stem Ginger Cordial it is!
A popular home-grown food, courgettes – or zucchini, if that’s your thing – come into abundance around this time of the year, especially as we get closer to autumn. Instead of making plate after plate of ratatouille, or courgette fritters, try something new. Courgette Loaf Cake is an intriguing and delicious way to make use of surplus summer squash – give it a go!
For the warmer parts of the UK the sunshine of June means only one thing – tomatoes. Grown on the famously sunny Isle of Wight, the tomatoes featured in this recipe for a quick and spicy tomato chutney provide an impressive depth of flavour and sweetness. The only way to deal with a glut of the fruit, tomato chutney will be there to satiate your appetite for preserves year round.
Dedication to the fight against food waste – an integral part of frugality – often requires a little thought and preparation (for more info see my tips page). When you make custard, for instance, it isn’t acceptable simply to throw the egg whites away. What a waste! Instead, whip them up into a fuss, bake them and drench liberally with indulgent greek yoghurt and sumptuous caramelised pears.