Autumn is a good time to start storing up food for the winter and pickles and chutneys are perfect. And they last (almost) forever so you can enjoy the fruits of your foraging for months to come. Here are our top ten chutney, pickle and jam recipes.
Until our Laura B shared her recipe for pickled greengages, I hadn't even considered pickling these elusive fruit but it's a great way to enjoy them all year round. Cucumber and red onion pickle really is the crack of the pickle world. I've been known to eat the whole jar in one sitting. If you just can't wait the few weeks that pickles need for the flavours to marry and the taste to become awesome, you need our seriously quick and easy sour pickled cucumbers, assuming half an hour isn't too long to wait!
Cucumbers make great chutney, too. There's nothing like a good chutney to perk up a ham sandwich or turn a cheeseboard into a stunning supper. This apple chutney from Canteen is a winner and it's not too tricky to make, either. Preserved lemons aren't exactly a chutney but they make cold meat into something very special.
Jam might sound like some thing we've missed the seasonal boat on for this year, but there's so much brilliant frozen fruit available that you can make it whenever the whim strikes. Rhubarb and strawberry jam is especially gorgeous, while raspberry jam is so easy to make, you'll wonder why you ever bothered to buy a jar of the stuff. And if you're thinking that jams and jellies can only be sweet, you're wrong. Eldersherry jelly is the perfect blend of elderberries and sherry that will turn your casseroles and gravies into wonderful creations.
I'm going to stick my neck out and say that I count syrups as a legitimate way to preserve fruit. While you might not have the substance of a whole piece of fruit in jam or vinegar, you're capturing the flavours of the produce to enjoy long after the item would have gone off. Rhubarb and vanilla syrup and rose hip syrup are both simply brilliant as a drink, in cocktails or on ice cream. Try flowers in syrups, too, elderflower and lavender work particularly well.
Is it too early to mention Christmas? Oh well, I've said it now. This is the time to get started on those pickles, chutneys and jams that you'll need to jazz up leftover turkey and give to friends and family as gifts. Go on, sterilise some jars and get jammin'!
For more recipe inspiration, check out the rest of our top ten recipe posts.