Autumn, the season of harvesting ripe fruits and berries, and an abundance vegetables, just waiting to be pickled, bottled or made into preserves.
Jam, pickles and chutneys can be made with little specialist equipment but half the fun is getting out your professional pans and thermometers and getting started.
Whether you are a novice at this or a seasoned pro, here’s what we think you need to make the most of this season’s bounty.8.5L Stainless Steel Maslin Jam Making Pan & Handle – £46.99
A proper robust pan with a thick bottom is essential for jam, marmalade and most other preserves. This is because the temperatures get very high and you need to keep the mixture at a rolling boil for a long time, without it sticking to the bottom. The pan also has a lovely wide open surface area so that liquid quickly evaporates which allows the mixture to reduce a lot faster.
6 x Ball® Regular Mouth Quilted Crystal™ 240 mL Preserving Jars – £8.99
If you are one of those people who are not organised enough to save every jam jar and wash it out after use, these are a little bit different to the norm. They have a lovely quilted design that sets them apart and makes them ideal for gifts.
From: spontex.co.ukLakeland Jelly Strainer – £17.49
Another essential piece of equipment here which can be used for several products, including straining the pips for jellies, cordials or even home brews. You click together the three-piece kit and it is sturdy enough to take up to 2kg (4lb) of fruit.
From: Lakeland.co.ukHome Made Stainless Steel 13cm Marmalade Scissors, Pack of Two – £5.50
Ever tried cutting the peel from oranges or lemons? Then you’ll appreciate these marmalade scissors. They are ideal for slicing quickly through any size of peel and this handy two pack contains one fine edge of scissors (1mm) and another with a 2mm coarse blade.
From: hartsofstur.comKilner Thermometer – £6.00
A thermometer makes life so much easier when it comes to making jam or marmalade. No more popping a little bit of the mixture on a saucer and sticking it in the fridge until it forms a skin. Now you can accurately tell the correct setting point temperature for all your preserves. This one is made from stainless steel and clips to the side of your jam pan.
PASSATA MACHINE BY RIGAMONTI OF LECCO – £32.99 or £39.99
Many people forget that in the autumn the one fruit we tend to get more than enough of is tomatoes. But as you cannot freeze them in their natural state how do you preserve them? Easy when you have this passata-making machine. Just pop whole tomatoes in the top, turn the handle, and the pulp (passata) is separated from the skin and the seeds. There are two sizes of machine available, regular at £32.99 or large at £39.99.
From: seedsofitaly.comJam Funnel – was £6.00 now £1.79
Avoid nasty burns when you are transferring your boiling jam from the pan to your jars with this handy funnel. Made from non-rusting stainless steel, the diameter is 14.5cm and it will fit jars with a minimum 5.5cm diameter.
From: procook.co.ukKilner Jam Jar Tongs – £5.50
We all know that you have to sterilise jam jars before you can put in the wonderful preserve you have made. Many people do this by heating up their jars either in the oven or in a boiling pan of water. But removing them whilst they are still hot is a risky business. Keep your hands out of danger’s way by investing in these handy tongs. They have heat-resistant grip for better control.
Ivey 6 Piece Utensil Set – £15.99
Wooden spoons are a must for making jam and preserves and you can never have too many, which is why we love this set from Ivey. Made from acacia wood, you’ll never run out as it contains 1 slotted spoon, 1 spaghetti server, 1 slotted turner, 1 spoon, 1 set of tongs and 1 base.
Home Made Traditional ½ Gallon Glass Pickling Jar – £5.95
If pickles tickle your fancy take a look at this glass picking jar. We like the traditional style and the size, which is large enough to hold 2.25 litres. Perfect for keeping all sorts of pickles, including onions, chilies, veggies and other relishes. The lid is made from brushed steel.