Preserves - Autumn
Get stuck into seasonal jam, chutney and pickle, with a day of perfect preserves with chef and cookery writer, Rachel de Thample, at the River Cottage Cookery School.
Preserving is all about capturing a seasonal moment, holding on to the sun-kissed summer fruits, abundance of autumn and fragrance of foraged flowers and winter citrus. It’s also a wonderful way of shifting glorious gluts and ensuring nothing you grow or buy goes to waste.
Our seasonal series of preserve courses will equip you with all the techniques and tips you need to feel confident bundling your precious produce into cordials, jams, chutneys, pickles, liqueurs, homegrown tisanes, gut-friendly ferments and more.
09:30 - 17:00
Arrive at River Cottage
You’ll be met at the top of the hill at 9.30am and transported to River Cottage HQ by tractor and trailer (approx. a 5 minute journey).
Make yourself at home
Meet Rachel and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.
Fruit leathers are a healthy, delicious way to preserve autumnal fruits. With freshly gathered fruits like pears, rosehips and raspberries, you’ll make your own fruit leather to bundle up and take home at the end of the day. Once your fruit leather’s in the oven, we’ll look at making fruit butters.
Let’s start jamming. We’ll teach you how to make the most marvelous Victorian apple jam with guidance to add your own little twist with herbs from the garden or a drop of Somerset cider brandy. We’ll also look at making jam with alternatives to sugar.
One of the easiest and most gratifying ways to preserve is infusing – this covers everything from flavoured vinegars and shrubs to homemade liqueurs. Be inspired with lots of stunning seasonal flavours like raspberry & rosehip, fennel blossom & pear and more. The perfect inspiration for homemade gifts, and we’ll tell you crafty way so using the strained fruit (foraged fruit mince pies, and more). Before lunch, sample a few of Rachel’s homemade tipples such as quince gin and crab apple whisky.
Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a two-course lunch of local, seasonal fare will be one of the highlights of your day, and of course, we’ll sneak in a few preserves.
Build your confidence in chutney-making so you can turn your gluts into something glorious. We’ll take the best bits from the garden and turn them into something sweet and tangy that just begs to partner a hearty autumnal Ploughman’s.
We’ll take a broad look at fermentation before learning to make kimchi and sauerkraut using English winter roots and brassicas, as well as Nepalese gundruk (a highly nutritious fermented and dried kale akin to kale crisps).
Delve into pickles. We’ll taste a variety of different pickles using different methods. Then, you’ll whip up your own quick pickle to take home.
There will be time to chat to your course tutor and your fellow scholars, as well as label and bundle all your homemade goodies up to take home, before being whisked back up the hill by our tractor and trailer at 5pm.
Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.
On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.
Join us for the River Cottage Food Fair 25 - 26 May
This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.
We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.
If you need local accommodation we have a full list available.
We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.
- Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Food and Travel Magazine 2017
- Great British Food Awards 2017
- Great British Food Awards 2018