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Bottled raspberries

This recipe comes from Liz Neville, a virtuoso preserves maker with whom Pam runs the River Cottage Preserve Making courses. You can make it with any raspberry, but we particularly like to use the big autumn berries which generously stretch the soft fruit season well into October, even November. Bottle a few and you can extend your raspberry eating well into the dark winter months. In an ideal world, the fruit for this preserve would be packed into the jars as you pick it from the canes. That may not be possible, but do make sure the fruit is in tip-top condition and handled as little as possible.

Method

First make a syrup: put the sugar and 750ml water into a pan and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar then bring to the boil. Keep the syrup warm.

Pack the raspberries tightly into warm, sterilised jars. Make sure you don't bruise the fruit – a chopstick or wooden spoon handle is useful for gently prodding it down.

Pour the alcohol over the packed fruit. Fill the jars to the brim with the sugar syrup, tapping them to remove any air bubbles.

Put the lids on the jars, loosening screw-bands by a quarter of a turn, if you're using them, to allow the steam to escape.

Stand the jars in a deep pan and cover with warm water (at 38°C).

Heat to simmering point (88°C), over 25 minutes. Maintain this temperature for 2 minutes.

Carefully remove the jars and stand them on a wooden surface or thick folded towel.

Tighten the screw-bands then leave the jars undisturbed to cool.

When cold, check the seal by removing the clips or screw-bands and lifting the jar by the lid.

Use within 12 months.

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Ingredients

  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 1kg firm, just-ripe raspberries
  • 100–-150ml brandy, gin, vodka or raspberry liqueur

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Preserves Handbook

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