Luscious Peach and Raspberry Conserve

Luscious Peach and Raspberry Conserve

Luscious Peach and Raspberry Conserve

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True confessions time.  Peaches and Raspberries are fruits low in pectin, so even the addition of lemon makes it difficult to achieve a set much firmer than a thick, chunky sauce .. which is just fine by me. I reach for a jar anytime I am making Berry Nutty Tart or Apple Berry Flan. I fill muffins with it. I beat it into thick cream to fill sponges or cup-cakes. I put it into smoothies and stir it into yoghurt. However by far the most common fate is poured over ice-cream. Try it, you’ll see I am right.

NOTES:

The easiest way to peel a peach is to blanche them first. Pour very hot water into one basin and very cold water into another. Place peaches into the hot water for a few minutes then transfer immediately into the cold water. Use tongs to avoid scalds. This loosens the skins, so that they should just fall off.

Use slightly under-ripe peaches as they contain more pectin than fully tree ripened fruit. This makes it easier to get the conserve to set. Once the fruit has cooked for 10 minutes, if you have not achieved “setting” point of 104C/220F, you will need to decide if you will sacrifice the chunks of fruit in favour of a firmer set. I usually keep it as it is 🙂

Choose a wine with a crisp, clean finish rather than sweeter varieties. Suitable varieties include; Sauvignon Blanc, Pino Grigio/Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling.

Makes approx 2 litres (8 x 250ml/1cup jars)

  • 1 kg/2.2 lbs sugar
  • 300ml/10 oz dry white wine
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 kg/2.2 lbs whole peaches (see notes)
  • 1 kg/2.2 lbs fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat the oven to 120ºC/250ºF

Wash the bottles/jars and lids thoroughly. Place the bottles jars onto a biscuit tray while still wet and into the oven to dry and sterilise. Place the lids into boiling water.

Peel peaches, remove stones and chop into large chunks. I usually leave the peaches in quarters.

Wash the raspberries thoroughly, removing any bits of stick or calyx.
Zest the lemon finely then juice, reserving as much of the pulp as possible.

Place sugar, wine, lemon zest, juice and pulp into a large pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.

Bring the sugar mixture to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes to form a syrup.

Add peaches and raspberries. Bring the mixture back to the boil.

Cook for 10 minutes, stirring gently every few minutes to stop the fruit scorching. The aim is to keep the fruit in whole pieces so be gentle. Remember, you probably won’t get a firm set, so this is the point where you decide if you can cope with a runny conserve or want to cook it longer and sacrifice chunks of fruit.

Remove the hot jars from the oven and pour or ladle in the hot conserve. Seal immediately with the hot lids.

Cool completely before storing in a cool dark place

 

 

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