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The power of pickles: a guide to preserving almost everything - from jam to chutneys

The power of pickles: a guide to preserving almost everything - from jam to chutneys


You don't need an overabundance of garden apples
 or zucchini to create mouth-watering preserves that will last you for months to come Dale berning sawa Dale berning sawa Tue 28 Apr 2020 11.30 BST Actions 312 comments 284 A selection of canned foods and pickles Sugar, spices and everything in there has good ... a selection of homemade preserves and pickles. Photography: Yuliia Chyzhevska / Alamy More than any household appliance, preservation is the cook's secret weapon at home. If you have a vegetable patch, fruit trees or a housing estate, this is the age-old way of prolonging the summer glut and the fall harvest until the winter shortage when there is nothing to cultivate or grow. gather. Even with fresh produce all year round in stores, a sparkling row of preciously colored jars filled to the brim with crunchy spices can brighten up the dullest meal. The idea of ​​making your own kimchi or bottling a lot of chutney might scare you. But all you need is a few key ingredients and a little patience. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

What to keep 

Knowing what's in season wherever you are in the world is essential. In the UK now you will find the latest apples and pears from last year, but the cauliflower and cabbage are going strong and a glut of red fruit is just around the corner. In spring, in the United States, the Preserved section of Serious Eat suggests, among other things, rhubarb and strawberry jam and tomato jam. It sounds obvious, but be sure to go for something you like to taste and in quantities that you can reasonably spend. I say it from experience: it is useless to fill a Kilner jar of two liters of kiwi marinated with the skin if you are the only one to eat them. Use small pots. Use flavors you like. It is not about wasting anything. Sterilization of Kilner jars in the oven FacebookTwitterPinterest Impeccable ... sterilize Kilner jars in the oven. Photography: CW Images / Alamy 

How to stay safe

 As Toni Kostian of the Grön restaurant in Helsinki put it, "Preserving means having only the right kind of bacteria in your products and getting rid of the harmful ones." Pickles, jams and ferments can be safely prepared at home with basic cooking equipment. Make sure to clean your hands, surfaces, utensils and produce well. Wash all jars, bottles and lids in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. They should be warm, dry and sterile when you fill them. So, for canned goods that you intend to use quickly, place your jars in a 140C (120C fan) / 285F / gas 1 oven for 20 minutes, timing them so they are ready when your product is . And garnish everything you store with a circle of waxed paper before sealing. For anything you plan to keep in a store cabinet for a long time, use suitable jars (which can be closed with lids and rings) and, ideally, the boiling water treatment technique. It's more than any novice should try on the first try - but if you want to know how, check out Marisa McClellan's tutorials on  

. Ingredients for the dill pickle FacebookTwitterPinterest In the brine ... ingredients for the dill pickle. Photo: George Fisher / Alamy Pickles Pickled or chilled pickles are what culinary writer Rachel Roddy calls entry-level delights. She uses a simple pickling brine: 550 ml of white wine vinegar, 200 ml of water and a tablespoon filled with fine salt and sugar (plus the aromatic of your choice: chili, garlic, berry, dill. ..) for 1 kg of chopped garden food (carrot, turnip, red cabbage, red beet, fennel, red onion). Bring the brine to a boil, add the vegetables for one minute, then distribute in the jars (in which you have poured a tablespoon of olive oil), cover with liquid and spices and seal. Pickles can be eaten within 24 hours and will last two months in the refrigerator. Rice wine vinegar makes the quickies sweeter, although the lower acidity means they have a shorter shelf life. You can get very sweet (Japanese brine from Kylee Newton adds 380 g of sugar to 450 ml of rice wine vinegar and 450 ml of water, with only ¼ teaspoon of sea salt and a few peppercorns) or not sweet at all (Anna Thomson infuses her brine - 350 ml rice or white wine vinegar, 800 ml water, 4½ teaspoon salt - with lemongrass, garlic, fresh ginger and red peppers.) Another good thing to have in the fridge is mixed spicy pickles - half salad, half condiment - like the Malaysian acar penang. The vegetable here requires a little more preparation. Angie Liew of Huangkitchen.com says to mix 200g each of chopped cabbage, carrots, green beans and pineapple with 500g of cucumber (peeled, sweet center removed and sliced) with 1 tablespoon of salt, and leave it during 30 minutes. Squeeze the liquid and then blanch in boiling water and vinegar, before draining and letting it dry for an hour. Meanwhile, grind together a mixture of 10 fresh peppers and 5 dried peppers (soaked in water until tender), 10 shallots, 5 cloves of garlic, 2 cm each of turmeric and galangal root (I would replace these last two with a 4 cm piece of ginger if I couldn't find one), 20g each of coriander seeds and shrimp paste, and some coconuts (or use macadamia nuts or cashews instead). Fry this spice paste in the oil until it is fragrant, then add 200 ml of vinegar, 180 g of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt, followed by 100g of ground peanuts, vegetables and finally 100g of toasted sesame seeds, mix well after each addition. Store at least 24 hours before serving and up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. There are more pungent varieties that take time to mature. A version of the cucumber pickle is found in most countries, but everything from green beans to new peas works too. For the Iranian bademjan torshi, the eggplant is first steamed in equal parts of vinegar and water, then pressed, sliced ​​in the middle and stuffed with cloves of garlic, dried mint and a little salt. Pack firmly in a pot small enough for the pickling liquid (125 ml of fresh apple cider vinegar for 1 tablespoon of boiled and cooled water) to cover the vegetable. Seal them and keep them in a dark, cool place for at least a month and keep them in the fridge once opened. Fruits also like to be marinated. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall bottles cherries - stones, stems and everything - in hot syrup (200 ml of water, 300 ml of white wine or apple cider vinegar, 250 g of powdered sugar, 6 grains of black pepper , 3 bay leaves, 2 juniper berries and 2 cloves) and leave for a month before use. Nigel Slater uses a similar syrup for stone fruit, but warns that since no amount of vinegar softens hard fruit, it is best if the peaches are first stoned and parboiled, then peeled; with apricots, it leaves the skin on. Conversely, these pickles are ready in three days. That is to say: follow the recipes carefully. Do not skip any step and respect all the times specified.

 Fermented cauliflower and vegetables FacebookTwitterPinterest Lively and beating ... fermenting cauliflower and vegetables. Photo: Maryna Mashkina / Alamy Ferments Sign up for Word of Mouth: The Best of Guardian Food Every Week Read more For Kostian, lactic acid fermentation not only has reputed (but unproven) health benefits, but in terms of flavor, this is the most interesting starting point. He recommends gooseberries, but any other fruit will do. For quick ferments, your pots do not need to be sterilized, but they must be impeccably clean. And you must use good filtered water (no chlorine) and good sea salt (no caking agents). Mix 1 kg of fresh berries with 30 g of salt in a large glass jar with lid and place a cling film on top of the product, pressing on it with a small weight. Then put the cover on, without tightening. Leave at room temperature (18-22C) for 15 to 30 days. Taste after 15 days and decide if you want to go further with the funky flavor. Yeast or mold can develop on the surface if anything you ferment comes into contact with the air or if your kitchen is too hot. Trust your senses. If something smacks off, try again. Otherwise, remove the top layer and continue. Culinary writer Regula Ysewijn recently found two jars of sourdough - mostly fermented dough - in a box in her cellar, where they sat, forgotten, since she moved two years ago. One felt the rank and threw it away. The other smelled good, like traditional black rye bread, so she fed it until it boiled and now cooked with it. The sauerkraut variations use celeriac, apple and carrot, as well as cabbage - and are ready within seven to 15 days For something faster, try the two-day carrot and cabbage ferment the kitchen of the studio of the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson in Berlin: mix 2 grated carrots and a small grated cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt and place it in a large glass jar with a lid. Leave in the fridge for a few days or more for a stronger flavor. Of course, the more time you have to improve your canning, the better. For an appropriate sauerkraut, massage 1 tablespoon of salt into 1 kg of grated cabbage until it releases its juice, then pack it firmly in a jar, pressing until the liquid comes back up above the surface (add a little filtered water if necessary). Seal and leave at room temperature for at least four days until bubbles appear. Chef Tom Hunt says that at this point, you can continue to ferment at room temperature for months or even years. Putting it in the fridge will slow the process down and temper the flavor. Online you will find recipes for kraut variations using celeriac, apple and grated root vegetables. Another very adaptable cabbage ferment is kimchi. Hyosun Ro from Koreanbapsang. com offers more than 20 different recipes, from the easiest to the most vegan. Food52, meanwhile, has a great way to prepare any type of kimchi without a recipe. It's a world apart, so read on. Olia Hercules makes sparkling tomatoes by placing 500g of medium-sized fruit in a large sterilized storage jar and covering it with cooled brine (1 liter of water, 7 teaspoons of salt, 5 teaspoons of sugar) , as well as a few berries of Jamaican pepper, black peppercorns, 2 heads of dill, 1 bay leaf and 4 chopped celery sticks. She leaves the sealed jar in a warm place in her kitchen (25 ° C) for a week, then transfers it to the refrigerator or to a cellar, where it can be kept unopened for months. Finally, for something very exciting, prepare the lime pickle from Clare Lattin. Mix the quarters of 2-3 limes (250g) with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Pack in a jar with a sterilized lid and leave to ferment for four weeks (put a note in your journal). When ready, heat 4 tablespoons of mustard oil in a pan and fry the spices (1 tablespoon of turmeric, 3 teaspoons of cayenne, 3 teaspoons of mustard seeds and 1 spoon fenugreek seeds) until the seeds begin to burst. Add the limes with all their juice, with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and cook for five minutes. Let cool, then put back in the jar and keep for another week, so that the flavors combine. No citrus fruit has ever been so rewarding. Chutneys Newton likes the way you can use something a little overripe in a chutney (just remove the brown or bruised pieces). His apple and his beerleyley is a good starting point. Put 900g of diced onions, 600ml of apple cider vinegar and 400g of granulated sugar in a large pan with a wide rim and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, until reduced by a third. Mix 1.5 kg of apples (peeled, seeded and diced) and the zest of 2 lemons. Fill a small muslin bag with 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 1 teaspoon of chili flakes, 1 teaspoon of peppercorns and 1 bay leaf, tie with a string and add to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally (cover the surface with a round baking parchment paper) for 20 minutes. Once thickened, stir through 2 teaspoons of salt and 300 ml of beer and simmer for another five minutes. Fill the sterilized jars heated to 5 mm from the edge, seal, label, date and keep in the cupboard for up to 12 months. Once opened, store in the refrigerator for up to three months.

 Homemade raspberry jam with chia seeds FacebookTwitterPinterest Get stuck .. homemade raspberry jam with chia seeds. Photography: NelliSyr / Getty Images / iStockphoto Jams Sweet jams range from creamy curds (lemon, but also blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry, orange and blueberry) to jellies and whole fruit recipes. You name the fruit, sugar will do wonders. Irish chef and founder of Ballymaloe's cooking school, Darina Allen, points to raspberry jam as a good starting point. To win over panicked students, she sometimes makes scones, then gets to work on the jam. "By the time the scones are out of the oven," she writes, "the jam is made. It's so easy! " Mash 900 g of fresh or frozen berries in a large stainless steel pan and cook for three to four minutes over medium heat until the juice begins to flow. Add 900g of hot sugar and stir over low heat until dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for about five to six minutes, stirring frequently. Test the intake by placing a teaspoon on a cold plate and leaving it in the fridge for a few minutes. If it wrinkles when you press it, it is set. Remove from heat immediately. Skim, pour into sterilized jam jars and cover immediately. Infusions and aromatics will embellish the basic idea, from Nigel Slater's plum to almonds and rose water, figs and Lillie O'Brien's Earl Gray tea. And roasting your fruit - like Anna Jones does for plums - will improve its integrated sweetness. Some fruits - grapes, for example - are sweet enough to require no added sugar. Of course, sugar is the preservative, the less you use it, the shorter the shelf life of your product. Chia seeds, meanwhile, make an instant cheat jam, which lasts about two weeks. Just simmer fruit, then mix a sweetener, lemon juice and chia seeds, and let thicken for five to ten minutes. Finally ... As the guardian writer Phil Daoust put it, if all this sounds like work, make yourself a drink. "A few handfuls of raspberries or blackberries will transform the cheapest vodka", but the same goes for oranges and rum or sloes and gin. Place 500g of fruit in a large jar and cover with 250g of sugar and a liter of alcohol. Seal, shake (continue shaking daily until sugar dissolves) and place in a dark cabinet for three months. Filter the fruit, then bottle and store for at least a year. The longer it is, the better. The news is threatened…… Just when we need it most. Millions of readers from around the world flock to The Guardian for honest, authoritative, and fact-based stories that can help them understand the biggest challenge we have faced in our lifetime. But at this crucial moment, the media are facing an unprecedented existential challenge. As businesses around the world feel the pinch, advertising revenues that have long helped support our journalism continue to fall. We need your help to fill the void. We believe that each of us deserves equal access to vital public service journalism. So, unlike many others, we made a different choice: keep Guardian journalism open to everyone, no matter where they live or what they can afford. This would not be possible without the financial contributions of those who can afford it, who now support our work in 180 countries around the world. We have maintained our editorial independence from the disintegration of traditional media - with social platforms giving rise to disinformation, the seemingly unstoppable rise of big tech and independent voices being crushed by commercial property. Guardian independence means that we can set our own agenda and express our own opinions. Our journalism is free from commercial and political bias - never influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. It makes us different. This means that we can challenge the powerful without fear and give a voice to those who are less heard. With the financial support of readers, we can continue to investigate, unravel and question. He protected our independence, which doesn’t has never been more critical. We are so grateful. We need your support to continue providing quality open and independent journalism. And it's there for the long haul. Each reader's contribution, large or small, is so precious. Support the goalie from just $ 1 - and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

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