Alison Lambert: My Mother's Kitchen

Alison Lambert and her mother, Margie Manning. Photos: Kelly Lindsay
Alison Lambert and her mother, Margie Manning. Photos: Kelly Lindsay
The memory of the food that our mothers served us as children never leaves us, a comforting reminder of the maternal bond that resonates through our adult lives.

More than 70 New Zealand chefs, cooks, bakers and foodies have shared the stories and recipes of their childhood in the new publication My Mother’s Kitchen.

I grew up in a big family where Mum and Dad were very self-sufficient. Mum always had jars upon jars of fruit preserved for the winter months, which she would serve with our breakfast or make into puddings, cakes and slices. She learned it from her mum, and I do the same now.


Bottled stone fruit

Makes one 1-litre jar

Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan

Time: 25 minutes, plus 25-45 minutes inactive

1 cup white sugar
2 cups water
Enough stone fruit (e.g. approximately 12 apricots, or 6 peaches etc) to firmly pack into jar

Preheat oven to 140degC.

Make a syrup by placing sugar and water in a medium saucepan, bringing to the boil, then simmering until sugar has dissolved.

Remove from the heat. Cut fruit in half and remove stones and stems.

Pack fruit tightly and up to 4cm from the top of a sterilised 1-litre jar, creating an overlapping design for an attractive end result if you wish.

Pour the hot syrup over the fruit until 2cm from the top of the jar. Tap the jar on a hard surface to remove any air bubbles.

Place the lid loosely on the jar and place in the oven to cook the fruit; this will take 25 minutes for smaller fruit such as apricots or 45 minutes for large fruit such as peaches.

Remove carefully, as the jar will be hot. Screw on the lid tightly to seal. Wipe the jar with hot soapy water and dry.

Once it is cool, label the jar with the date and contents and store in a cool dark place.

An indication that the fruit has preserved correctly is that the lid will draw down in the centre.

Jars will keep, unopened, for 6-12 months.

Refrigerate after opening.

Multiply the recipe to make additional jars.

Tip: Use good-quality, blemish-free, firm but ripe fruit.

-Recipe: Alison Lambert. Reproduced from My Mother's Kitchen, published by Potton & Burton, available nationwide.

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