Our soft fruit harvest this year has been the best ever - apart from the strawberries which didn't do so well. We have a couple of early raspberries and about 8 or so autumn fruiting ones....the autumn ones are loaded with fruit, they do much better than the early ones. We've just been putting all the fruit in boxes in the freezers....it did start off just in one freezer, but then migrated to the other 2 (we have a large upright fridge/freezer in the kitchen, a couple of years ago we bought an under the counter freezer for the utility room to store our garden produce, then last year we were given a small chest freezer, also in the utility room. All of them are now pretty full.....I don't know how we managed before with just the one!!). The other day I sorted all the fruit out - well, I did my best under the circumstances....it's a bit difficult to sort through 3 full freezers, you tend to lose feeling in your hands. I weighed and bagged up the fruit, to free up the dozen or more plastic boxes....I was running out of them. We have about 5 lbs (yes I still do old money, I know what i'm talking about then!) of rasps with lots more to come, about 3 lbs blueberries, around 2 lbs each blackcurrants and strawberries.
I thought it was about time I did something with it, although we have had a few fruity puddings. I don't tend to make loads of jam as we're not great eaters of it, although strawberry is a must for homemade scones of course, and it's nice to have a few jars to give as gifts or thank yous. I made blackberry gin a few years ago.....gorgeous. So raspberry gin was an obvious choice.
I also made blackcurrant and blueberry cordial, I also chucked in some supermarket frozen forest fruits I found lurking in the freezer. It made 2 1/2 litres (see, I can do new money as well hehe).....the kitchen, OH and myself got splattered when straining it through the jelly bag. Just as well purple's my favourite colour.
I added some citric acid to help preserve it, the bottles are all in the fridge. The fruit that was left in the jelly bag is now in a box in the fridge, waiting to be transformed into jam later on today.
Not really made much of a dent in the rasp mountain.....I only used 600g for the gin. Will get some whisky next time we go shopping to do a raspberry & honey whisky liqueur for OH - he doesn't like gin, I don't like whisky. Takes all sorts!
What do you do with your soft fruits?