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Bottled fruit: enjoying the bounty seven months later

Photo: Home bottled balckberries and blueberries

Photo: Home bottled balckberries and blueberries

When I sat down to savour the superb third day of creamy Greek yoghurt and organic blackberries and blueberries bottled last October from our own garden, I just had to take a photo. This is now pasted on the kitchen wall to  remind me how good bottled fruit is when I’m caught up in the bottling frenzy that dominates September and October.

I do enjoy bottling fruit but sometimes it seems a bit of a palaver if I have other things to do.

Sitting by the pond on a clear and sunny morning as the fruit and yoghurt combination burst in my mouth I realised that home bottled fruit is to be treasured. Packed with flavour, harvested from our garden so it’s organic with not a trace of long life enhancing chemicals. Bliss.

Last year I was scratching around for jars in September. The local shops were packed with ridiculously overpriced jars so I ordered some Kilner Jars from Lakeland to supplement my stock of Le Parfait jars. I made the mistake of buying 1 litre jars. We don’t have a large family – just the two of us and the menagerie. The blackberries and blueberries were bottled in old 200 ml Le Parfait jars (with new seals)  and each jar gives me enough topping for five breakfasts. Somehow the bottling process enhances the flavour of the fruit so you need far less than the expensive imported fresh super fruits that are in the supermarkets now. And there is also the juice. So if you have a family of four then 500 ml jars would be perfect.

Our bottled fruit is so good that I’m already trying to get my jars lined up for The  Autumn Onslaught. Lakeland sale is now on but unfortunately the Kilner jars and Le Parfait jars are not on sale. Danny groans each time a Lakeland catalogue drops on the mat and This week suggested that it was unwise to even vist the site. Perhaps I’ll manage a quick peek when he is snoozing or engrossed in the football World Cup…or both!

Finally a penchant for football does have its benefits for widows – even if it’s just window shopping.

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  1. I bought it in the Sutton-in-Ashfield store, in Nottinghamshire. It is called a electric jam maker on the box, if this is any help.

  2. patricia ellingford

    which store was that Erica as the one in Peterborough does not seem to have this listed.



  3. Lidl have a electric preserver for sale at the moment (£40), its a large thermostatically controlled water boiler which you can get two layers of jars in for bottling. Last year I struggled to get a pan tall enough for my 500ml jars, the tea towels to rest them on and enough water depth to submerge the jars. I’m hoping this is going to make my life a bit easier as I won’t have to stand over it (it beeps when up to temp) and I can get more jars in, in one go.

  4. Jafion

    I am totally with you on the bottled fruit epiphany – we opened a jar of preserved damsons at the weekend. The syrup was gloopy and wine red and smelled like kirsch and the damsons were so soft they melted in your mouth. Yum!

    And I recommend Wares of Knutsford for jars and preserving paraphenalia – more choice than Lakeland, possibly cheaper and there aren’t so many opportunities for being distracted by the other wonders Lakeland stock!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Jafion

      I must try damsons this year! Thanks for the tip about Wares of Knitsford.

  5. KateUK

    mmmm Lakeland…..
    Football? What football? I’m either upstairs or in the garden, best to avoid it I find.
    Looking at the bumper crop on my tayberry I think I need to have a go at bottling- I’m assuming the result is much less sweet than jam, which I find way too sweet these days.

  6. Jo@LittleFfarm Dairy

    I used to live not far from one of the Lakeland shops back in the days that we lived in the Cotswolds. Just as well we moved – don’t think the wallet could take much more….!

  7. Joanna

    Maybe I seriously have to look at supplying jars and lids from here. The shops are full of them as it is common to bottle fruit and pickles for the winter months.

  8. Funny- I’m a soccer widow myself, as we call it here in the States.

    World Cup is also a good time to be able to say I did so tell you about it- you even nodded; don’t you remember?

    What I don’t like is the sulking and bad mood afterward….

    But yeah! Order away! Now’s the time to be doing it and you won’t have this kind of opportunity for four more years! Yay World Cup!

  9. Sabine

    Bottling blackberries – what a great idea! I’ll be doing some of that too this summer. I’ve got a big stash of jam jars of all shapes and sizes, which will do fine as long as the lid is undamaged. I’ll do my bottling in a bain-marie in a large pot, though. No idea whether they work in the oven, too. Whenever I looked at instruction, the different size of the jars seemed to be a problem.

  10. Bridget

    The fruit looks great. I have a stash of preserving jars (Agee) of various sizes just waiting for future use. At the moment I’ve just been freezing blackberries but once all of our fruit trees start producing we’ll be very busy with bottling!

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