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Winter is coming: Put up these 3 preserves and pickles before summer's end

Bread and butter pickles


Winter is coming: Put up these 3 preserves and pickles before summer's end

We know it's still only August, but with cooler months soon to come the time is now to get pickling and jamming in order to put up the best of the summer harvest. Cucumbers, stone fruits and berries are all ripe for preservation.

There are countless great ways to put up both fruits and vegetables, and many are extremely easy — in most cases, all you need is a few Mason jars and a large pot. We like the intuitive fermentation tools from MasonTops, which make it even easier to preserve our foods with the help of good bacteria, but if you just want to make a quick pickle or two we've got you covered. Here are three recipes to get you started:


Bread and Butter Pickles
What's better on a ham sandwich than a few slices of bread and butter pickles? These tangy-sweet cucumber slices bring out the best in just about any deli meat, and they're easy to make as well. All you need is some vinegar, sugar and a few spices to make a quick brine, which gets poured — hot — over a jar full of cukes. After everything cools down you've got a jar of pure summer vegetable greatness that will keep in the fridge until your first winter cucumber craving.
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Apricot Mostarda
Looking for a preserve you can serve at dinner? Mostardas are your jam. These spicy fruit condiments are made by cooking down fruits with a serious helping of vinegar and mustard. Our favorite mostarda is one made with apricots and a one-two punch of mustard powder and whole mustard seeds. The end result is a fantastic accompaniment to grilled or roasted pork and duck. If you're ready to go big with this project, our recipe can easily be scaled up and canned in a boiling water bath. Use half-pint or pint jars and process for 10 minutes before cooling and storing. You'll thank us in February.
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Blueberries Fermented in Honey
We know fermented berries doesn’t sound like a huge crowd pleaser, but trust us. The blueberries take on an intriguingly tart flavor that balances the honey’s sweetness, plus the berries develop a slight effervescence that is uniquely appealing. These blueberries are wonderful on pancakes, waffles and oatmeal, but we tend to eat them straight out of the jar. This recipe is as easy as it gets — just be sure to use raw honey as it provides the good bacteria for fermenting the berries. Once the berries are finished fermenting, store them in the fridge and they'll stay good for months.
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Author image

Kate Williams is the former editor-in-chief of Southern Kitchen. She was also the on-air personality on our podcast, Sunday Supper. She's worked in food since 2009, including a two-year stint at America’s Test Kitchen. Kate has been a personal chef, recipe developer, the food editor at a hyperlocal news site in Berkeley and a freelance writer for publications such as Serious Eats, Anova Culinary, The Cook’s Cook and Berkeleyside. Kate is also an avid rock climber and occasionally dabbles in long-distance running. She makes a mean peach pie and likes her bourbon neat.