As John Keats’ evocative “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” arrives it is time to gather in some home grown produce with some exotic spices and prepare some delicious relishes for the Christmas table - or simply to enjoy over the Winter months. From spiced chutneys, such as our Rhubarb & Aubergine Chutney featured in our Recipe section to fiery pickles or tangy ‘citrons confits’ – they all look so much more stylish in the larder when packed into a selection of Bonne Maman conserve and compote jars.
Depending on where you are in the country, the late summer is the time to harvest blackberries, damsons, figs, grapes, plums and the Autumn for apples, medlars, goji berries, pears, quince and autumn fruiting raspberries.
Confit can sound complicated but is really a simple, traditional method of storing fruit in a sugar syrup. Lemon confit, for instance is delicious and will keep refrigerated in its syrup for weeks. Many variations exist for adding a subtle, citrus dimension to many savoury and sweet dishes. Whole or quartered lemons are great for savoury dishes such as Moroccan tagines while slices are perfect for decorating tarts and cakes – or even better, try on a cheesecake with an added layer of our soft set Lemon Marmalade.
Here is a simple, sliced lemon confit version to try:
Heat oven to 150C
Make a sugar syrup by bringing 500g white sugar and 500ml water to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes until all sugar has dissolved.
Wash, trim & thinly slice lemons – 5 or 6 depending on size – and remove seeds.
Lay slices, slightly overlapping, in rows on a baking sheet. Overlay with a sheet of baking paper on top - pricked all over to allow moisture to escape - and then cover whole tray with foil.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until slices are translucent. Remove foil and bake for a further 30-40 minutes until sugar is syrupy. Cool before using or storing in compote jar with syrup and a dusting of added sugar to taste / dress.