Give the sweetness of your summer stonefruit extra zing and make peach and ginger jam.
Take 4 or 5 cups of peaches, pitted and chopped, and ¼ cup of crystallised ginger, finely chopped, and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add 6 cups of jam-setting sugar and stir until it returns to the boil. Continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then for a minute or two more. Remove from the heat, pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.
Plums can be turned into delicious jams too, or try making the European preserve known as Lekvar. Somewhere between a jam and fruit cheese or paste, this rich mixture is made by stirring puréed dried prunes (and occasionally apricots) over a very low heat with equal volumes of water and sugar until a viscous black batter is achieved. The deeply fruity, semi-caramelised flavour is like nothing else. For authenticity, use only European plums, although Japanese plums work too, at a pinch.
For Heather Cole’s blackcurrant and rhubarb jam, boil 2kg blackcurrants and 1kg rhubarb in 2L of water for 30 minutes, mashing the fruit up as you go. Stir in 2½kg of sugar and boil for 15 minutes or until the jam sets on a saucer. Pour into clean, dry jars, warmed in the oven on a low heat, and seal.
Gay Tait’s tamarillo jam is super easy. Place a quantity of tamarillo flesh in food processor and blitz to a pulp. Measure cup for cup tamarillos and sugar. Gently bring to the boil, stirring. Turn heat down to a simmer. Continue to stir until mixture thickens and sets. Bottle.