Thursday, December 31, 2009

What to do with stone fruit...

Boy did we get a lot of stone fruit yesterday. There is no way we're going to be able to eat that much before the fruit goes downhill, so I got stuck into preserving and jam making.

I sterilised jars, put some chopped stone fruit in them (plums had skin removed) and topped the jars right up to the top with a light sugar syrup (1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water). Into the oven (100 degrees C) for 45 mins to cook the fruit a little, and to seal the jars. Cool on a wooden cutting board - so the jars don't break being placed on something cold, then I labelled them with the contents and the date once the jars were cool.

7 out of the 8 jars sealed. The one that didn't seal we put in the fridge to be used up when we're craving mangoes again ;D
I followed a simple recipe today to make jam. I used peaches, mangoes and apples.

- Wash, peel and remove stones from fruit, then weigh the chopped fruit.
- Cook it gently in a very large saucepan until it begins to bubble.
- Add the sugar. Most recipes recommend you use the same weight in sugar as fruit, but I only use half.
- Boil the fruit rapidly, stirring constantly for five minutes, but not on full heat otherwise the jam at the bottom of the pan may burn.
- Add the jam setta and boil for another five minutes.
- Pour immediately into sterilised glass jars and seal with an air tight covering.

Note: If you are making jam with non-citrus fruit you should add the juice of one lemon after adding the sugar.

One child did a taste test and LOVED it. Said child could eat an entire jar if allowed.

A great food day trip

We were going to head to Bilpin yesterday and do some fruit picking, but I had limited cash, it was going to cost far too much in petrol, and it was going to take an hour and a half to get there, and the same back. We weren't sure if the fruit was going to be great once we got there.

To cut a long story short, we decided to head Dural way and track down some road side stalls and see what we could find.

I had $100 in cash, $20 of which went to Darling Hubby for petrol. We ended up spending under $60 on fruit and veggies, and I have just over $20 left over. Because it was a shorter drive, we didn't have to buy lunch either :D

This is what you get for $60:-

(Watermelon, navel oranges, strawberries, lemons, corn, white nectarines, plums, mango butter, roma tomatoes, peaches, 2 boxes of mangoes - yes TWO! and a cucumber)

You can probably get more for your dollar at the market, but the markets aren't as picturesque as a drive to Rural Dural.

Peach Lemonade

"Moving to the country, going to eat me a lot of peaches"...

  • 2 peaches peeled and cubed
  • 4 C water
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice
Bring the peaches, sugar, and water to a boil, and then simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, then strain through a sieve, pressing to extract as much juice as possible. Stir in the lemon juice, and serve in tall glasses over ice.

You can reduce the amount of sugar in this and add more lemon if you wish.

Adding ginger beer to this concoction after it has cooled would be FANTASTIC :D