The homemade tomato puree is its queen, sovereign of a boundless kingdom whose subjects range from the delicious chutneys to the traditional fruit jams (the jams, however, are not all the same …). Preparing the preserves is a source of immediate and prolonged satisfactions. Of course, you have to keep an eye on the Botox risk, otherwise the door to the Conserve kingdom is open. Where is the entrance? From fruit or vegetables fresh and of quality, with few tools jars and some important foresight.
1) Choose the ingredient-base always in season and preferably bio (or better yet, biodynamic); if you use fruit, prefer it well ripe, when it is more juicy and sweet (in this month, plums, grapes, figs, but also peaches, apples and pears); discard the first fruits, less tasty and more expensive. Fruit and vegetables should always be washed, even if they are peeled.
2) The equipment necessary is limited and you probably have it: a wide and deep steel saucepan, a wooden spoon, a kitchen scale, a small ladle, a graduated carafe. You could also use a colander and a funnel.
3) I glass jars they must be new or in excellent condition, with a wide mouth and an airtight screw cap: they are cheap, easy to find and in various sizes. Better to use the medium ones (250 g) so that, once opened, they can be finished in a short time.
4) Jars e covers they must be very clean and dry: wash them yourself in the dishwasher at maximum temperature. If the filling is done with cold products, this is sufficient. Otherwise, better proceed to 'sterilization', or more correctly 'Sanitizing', of jars & lids: dip them in a pot of cold water and boil them for about 10 minutes. In order not to make the sanitation vain, after the treatment the containers must be left
immersed in the water until they are filled.
5) Cooking times jams and chutneys can vary by a few minutes compared to the recipe you have chosen, because ripe fruit is often more watery. In this case, to get the right consistency, you can add a peeled and diced apple: the apples, in fact, contain pectin, substance with the thickening effect.
6) Fill the jars leaving 1 cm of free space from the edge (used to form a vacuum during cooling). It is important not to leave residues on the edges, especially on the outside. If smudges remain, clean well with dampened kitchen paper and dry before screwing the capsule.
7) If the preserve that you are cooking is hot (as in the case of jams, compotes and chutneys), at this point turn the jars upside down and wait for them to cool completely. Then, turn them and controlled that the vacuum has formed: the capsule must be perfectly flat or curved inwards.
8) For jams with little sugar and some preserves, one is mandatory home pasteurization. After filling and closing the jars well, place them in a saucepan lined with a clean cloth, wrap them with other cloths to prevent them from breaking and cover them with warm water whose level must overcome them of a few centimeters. Calculate the time from boiling: iThe time required depends on the type of preserves, the type of container and its size (about 20 minutes for 250 g jars, however follow the times indicated by the recipe) and let them cool in the water. After 12-24 hours, inspect again that the lid is lowered to the center, pressing it lightly (you should hear a click-clak for the metal caps): it is the sign that it is formed the vacuum pack.
9) At this point the preserve is ready: all that remains is to attack youlabel to write the name of your creation, but above all useful to remember the preparation date and then check the deadline (usually 10-12 months). Store the jars in a dry and cool place. away from light and heat sources.
10) Check once in a while if it has formed on the surface mold or if the lid has swollen: in this case, do not hesitate to throw everything away. Once the jar is open, keep it in the refrigerator and consume it within a few days.
updated in September 2019
by Carola Traverso Saibante
DISCOVER THE COOKING COURSES OF SALT & PEPE