Slow-cooker preserves: winter condiments made easy
This jam is a great Father’s Day gift idea.
Wonderful winter condiments are easy to prepare when made in a slow cooker. There’s no need to hover over the pan with this gentle heat cooking method.
Bacon jam MAKES 5 CUPS PREP AND COOK TIME 7 HOURS
1kg rindless bacon slices, sliced thinly, excess fat trimmed 3 (450g) onions, sliced thinly 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly ⅔ cup (160ml) cider vinegar ⅔ cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar ⅔ cup (160ml) pure maple syrup 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard 4 sprigs fresh thyme 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules ⅓ cup (80ml) warm water
1 Heat a large frying pan over mediumhigh heat. Cook bacon, in batches, until browned lightly. Drain on paper towel. 2 Transfer bacon to a 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, vinegar, sugar, syrup, mustard, thyme, coffee and the water. Cook, covered, on High, for 6 hours. Discard thyme; skim excess fat. Season with pepper. 3 Process bacon mixture until finely chopped, but not puréed. Spoon hot jam into hot sterilised jars (see overleaf); seal immediately. Label and date jars when cold.
Serve on toast with roasted tomatoes, fried egg and baby spinach leaves. Suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.
Orange marmalade MAKES 4 CUPS PREP AND COOK TIME 3 HOURS 30 MINUTES
1kg oranges 1 litre (4 cups) water 1kg (4½ cups) white sugar, approximately
1 Peel the oranges, removing rind and white pith separately. Slice rind thinly; reserve half the pith. Quarter oranges; slice flesh thinly. Reserve any seeds. Tie the reserved pith and seeds in muslin. 2 Combine rind, flesh, muslin bag and the water in a 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker. Cook, covered, on High, for 2 hours. Discard the muslin bag. 3 Measure fruit mixture; allow 1 cup sugar for each cup of fruit mixture. Return the orange mixture and sugar to slow cooker. Increase heat to Reduce on High (see Test Kitchen tip); boil, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until marmalade jells when tested (see box, overleaf). 4 Pour hot marmalade into hot sterilised jars (see box, overleaf); seal immediately.
Not suitable to freeze or microwave.