≡ Menu ≡ Menu

All you need to know about making Chutney, Relish, Sauce and Jam

A Quick Guide to Making Preserves


Beetroot Relish 

This is what I know about Preserves. I adore home made preserves – jams, relish, chutneys and sauces. I enjoy the cooking process and I love that the ingredients are fresh, and grown in my garden. I love that the flavour is superior to anything you can buy at the store.

I will make as many different types of jams, relishes and sauces this year as my garden allows.   My summer crops are about to flourish (fingers crossed).  In preparation for that this is a refresher to start me thinking about what I will make on the coming months. I have had a reader requesting me to explain the difference between chutney and relish and asking how to sterilize so I have outlined some of the things you need to know below:

Some information about the differences between these condiments is:


  • Is made from fruits and/or vegetables
  • Vinegar, salts and spices act as a preserving agent
  • Is not always cooked
  • Has a chunky texture, with coarsely chopped ingredients
  • Has a sharp and spicy flavor, balanced by sweetness and tang
  • Taste is influenced by the quality of the ingredients used
  • Is enjoyed with cheese and cold meats, salads, casseroles


  • Is made from fruits and/or vegetables
  • Vinegar, salts and spices act as a preserving agent
  • Is generally slow cooked 
  • Has a smooth jam like texture
  • Should be cooked in an uncovered pan
  • Has a rich depth of flavor
  • Taste is influenced by the quality of the ingredients used
  • Is enjoyed with cheeses and cold meats, casseroles, fish and chicken.
  • Should be stored for 6-8 weeks prior to eating to allow the flavors to mellow.


  • Is traditionally a digestive aid
  • Ingredients are usually minced or finely chopped prior to cooking.
  • Once cooked, sauce is sieved, cooked again and strained again 


  • Is made by boiling fruit and sugar  
  • Should be true in taste to the main fruit ingredient used
  • Just-ripe fruit is the best to use for jam as the natural pectin levels are at their highest then
  • Is simmered very slowly at the start of the cooking process
  • Should be boiled rapidly to achieve setting point once the sugar has dissolved
  • Sets because of the natural pectin in fruit. Different fruits have different levels of pectin (strawberries and blackberries have low pectin levels)
  • Can be set using “Jam Setter” if you have trouble achieving setting point


  • Cool, dark, dry location.  Exposure to light and heat will affect their color and shorten the shelf life
  • Label with the name of the preserve and the date it was made
  • Store in the fridge once opened
  • Storage varies between for 3-6 months


Ideally preserves are made in a preserve pan – a wide based pan.  

I personally do not have one and my creations have all worked well without one.  I am on the hunt for one though, so if you can recommend where I can purchase one in Melbourne, Australia, I would be most grateful!

The items I use to make preserves are:

  • Preserving pan, or large heavy based pot
  • Scales and measuring equipment
  • A wooden spoon
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Jars of various sizes
  • A funnel
  • Thermometer
  • Muslin cloth
  • Scoop for potting into jars
  • Tongs
Note: Do not use metal spoons when making preserves.
Preserving items


Sterilize all jars and lids prior to potting.  One of the following methods can be used.

Dishwasher Method:

  1. Put the jars and lids in the dishwasher and wash on the hot cycle
  2. Ensure they are completely dry prior to using

Oven Method:

  1. Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water and dry
  2. Place into an oven set to 140 degrees for 15 minutes on a tray.  Turn oven to low and keep warm until ready to use  
  3. Remove from the oven with tongs

Boiling Method:

  1. Set a large pot of water to boil and submerge the jars and lids in the boiling water
  2. Rapid boil for 12 minutes  
  3. Remove with tongs and place upside down to drain on a tea towel
  4. Ensure the jars are totally dry before potting

**It is important that you ensure you use safe food preparation and storage techniques when preserving. There is much debate about canning techniques and correct procedures in different countries. You need to do your own research and use the method that you are most comfortable with. You can find detailed information on sterilizing jars for storage of Preserves via the USD Complete Guide to Home Canning (Guide 01). At the time of writing this there are no guidelines specifically for Australia.


Here are some of my favorite preserve recipes:

Note: This list will grow over the coming months as the produce in My Patch is ready to harvest.

Please continue to return to this page to check for more recipes.

Easy Citrus Marmalade

Onion, Chilli Chutney

Vanilla Peach Jam

Beetroot Relish Recipe

Chilli Jam 

Kasouni – Indian Style Zucchini Chutney

*I am not an expert when it comes to preserving. I love enjoying the produce from my garden all year round via preserving. I am learning more and more about it the more I do. The recipes I have created are ones that we enjoy.  I only preserve the quantity I know my family will eat in less than a year. As with any food that has been in storage for a period of time it should be discarded if inspection indicates any form of spoilage.





A Fresh Legacy





Share this post: Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest
Join me here: Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssinstagram

Get a weekly delivery of Fresh content straight to your in-box.

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Kellie - Good, Bad & Unnecessary December 30, 2011, 10:09 am

    I have such fond memories of making jams with my Nanna! This may have inspired me to start again 🙂
    Thanks for playing along!


    • Kyrstie January 1, 2012, 10:51 am

      Thanks for hosting Kellie, I enjoy visiting your site. I love your banner it is such a beautiful picture.

  • Rhianna December 30, 2011, 10:17 am

    What wonderful information, thank you for sharing it. Oh and can I just say I hate your Captcha thing, or rather it hates me! Yesterday it took 5 attempts to get the stupid thing right.

    • Kyrstie December 30, 2011, 10:31 am

      Oh no! Sorry to hear that Rhianna.Thanks for persisting! Can you recommend an alternative?

  • Robyn (@slightly_deep) December 30, 2011, 1:59 pm

    Yum!! I’ve never had beetroot relish, but would like to try it 🙂 My Mum keeps me stocked up with marmalade all year. Tis good.

    • Kyrstie December 30, 2011, 3:50 pm

      Lucky you to have a mum who keeps you stocked up! Nothing better than marmalade on freshly baked bread.

  • Jayne Watkins (@jay_latte) December 30, 2011, 9:28 pm

    Yum! We’re growing beetroots this year – I’m looking forward to the roasted dips and relishes from them.

  • Alissa December 30, 2011, 9:38 pm

    That was very informative. I have never tried to make preservatives before, never had much of a veggie patch, I am hoping that the growing and preserving bug will hit me soon. I was certainly interested enough to read your blog post.
    From Alissa@look.find.inspire

    • Kyrstie January 1, 2012, 10:46 am

      Thank you for visiting Alissa and for your feedback, I am really pleased that you read my post. I hope you visit again soon. Have a great new year, Regards Kyrstie

  • Rhianna January 4, 2012, 9:09 am

    Can’t offer any alternatives sorry, I have not used a captcha thing on my blog as i doubt i am big enough to be spammed lol 🙂
    Plus it might just have been me being daft! This whole technology thing is a bit much for me a times 🙂

  • Stacey March 13, 2015, 7:45 am

    I have just purchased an array of wide based saucepans from the Uni Hill factory outlets in Mill Park Melbourne. Not sure of name of shop – it was near the food court, and they were a genuine 70+% off the RRP which meant I could get a few at a bargain price. Best saucepans I have ever cooked with!
    Great post. We have just had the relish/jam argument and you have proved that we were both right! Thanks

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: