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The Berry List - 5 Things to Do With Bulk Berries

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by Lisa Nolte (subscribe)
Fifteen years ago I traded a corporate career for life on the river. Close enough to Melbourne to get a quick City fix, plus a great community with excellent coffee and four healthy active boys to keep me entertained, I've never regretted the change.
Published February 17th 2014
There is no such thing as too many berries

The Berry List - 5 Things to Do With Bulk Berries

You've had a rush of blood out picking raspberries, or it was too good to pass up $5 a kilo strawberries at the local market. The freezer has packed it in, or a friendly neighbour has given you the last of their season's produce.

Mulberry berries
There is no such thing as too many berries

Whatever the reason, you have too many berries to just eat with cream and anyway, wouldn't it be great to have some put away for a rainy day?

Here are 5 old-fashioned ideas that might extend berry season at your place.

Make berry jam

Berry jam in copper preserving pan
Jam is a traditional way to make berries last long past harvest time

It's not really very hard to make berry jam. The rule of thumb is equal amounts of sugar to fruit. So if you have 2kgs of fruit, you will need 2kg of sugar.

Some will say heating the sugar first improves the result, others say steep the fruit in sugar overnight.

You may add some lemon juice for extra setting power.

Set the fruit and sugar in a metal pan over heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to boil and bubble away for around 25mins or so. A sugar thermometer is invaluable. The jam is ready when it reaches 105 degrees centigrade (220f). Bottle your jam while it's hot.

Dry less juicy, firmer berries for future snacking

Fruit dryer
A fruit dryer is a handy investment if you have a lot of produce

A fruit dryer simply takes the moisture out of the berries. This method is only suitable for firm, dryish fruit. Sliced strawberries, Autumn raspberries, blueberries and white mulberries work well.

This method takes a long time and uses quite a bit of power, so it is best to dry a large number of berries at a time.

The dried berries are great for mixing with muesli or by themselves as school lunch snacks.

Bottle some syrup for drizzling on home-made berry ice-cream

Berry ice cream with syrup
Home made strawberry icecream with strawberry syrup

Churn some berries with milk and cream through an ice-cream maker. The berries won't last quite as long as they may with some of the other methods, but the kids will enjoy it, especially if you reduce some of the juicier berries with a little sugar to make a pouring syrup.

Set down some raspberry vinegar Green Gables style

raspberry vinegar
Bottle some berries, but make sure you know which is cordial and which is the liqueur

Marilla of Green Gables was famous for her berry products. Raspberry Cordial could easily be mistaken for currant wine, so make sure you clearly label the bottles if you go to the trouble of making either drop.

Preserve the best looking, juiciest fruit in glass

bottling jars for preserving fruit
Empty glass jars just waiting for the next haul of berries

A bottling kit consists of a large boiler, a temperature control, glass bottles with seals and assorted accessories. You really only need a large pot, bottles, clean fresh seals and a thermometer to bottle successfully on your stovetop.

Keep everything you use scrupulously clean and your berries will last the year - unless, of course, you eat them all first.
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Why? For berries all year round
When: when the berries are plentiful
Where: make at home
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