Recipes - Preserves

Preserving Courgettes

Once you’ve tried lots of recipes for using fresh courgettes, you may still have some left, and they don’t keep for long.  One way to make the most of the glut is to make some chutney or jam.  The jam you can eat straight away, but chutney improves with keeping so leave that for a couple of months at least.

Chutney is often only brought out to add to cheese sandwiches or cold meat dishes, or take on picnics.  But it’s much more versatile than that: add a spoonful or two to sauces for chicken, meat or vegetables to spice them up when you haven’t got time for complicated recipes. 

Courgette, tomato and apple chutney

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 45 mins    Makes approx 2.5kg


1 kg courgettes (yellow or green), cut up into small pieces.  Peel first if the courgettes are mature and the skins are tough.

1 kg tomatoes, skinned and chopped

4 onions, chopped small

4 eating apples, peeled and chopped small

300g sultanas (optional)

500ml cider vinegar or white wine vinegar (but malt is fine too)

400g brown or white sugar

1 tablespoon mixed spice

2 tablespoon yellow mustard seed

1 cinnamon stick

Cutting up courgette for chutney or jam


  1. Put the vinegar, 300ml water, sugar and spices in a very large thick-bottomed pan. Heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves then add the rest of the ingredients with a tsp of salt.
  2. Bring back to a simmer then simmer uncovered for 2 ½ hours until darkened, thick and chutney-like.   Stir often to make sure it doesn’t stick to the base of the pan or burn.
  3. To sterilise the jars, wash thoroughly in very hot soapy water. Rinse in very hot water then put on a baking sheet in a 140C/Gas Mark 1 oven until completely dry.
  4. Pour the chutney into the sterilised jars while still hot, seal and leave in a cool dark place for at least 3 weeks before opening.

Courgette chutney

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 45 mins    Makes approx 2.5kg


I kg in weight of courgette – green or yellow

1 medium onion

1 tart apple, peeled and cored

1 garlic clove, minced

1 green pepper

250 g dark brown soft sugar

250 ml white wine vinegar

400g brown or white sugar

1 tablespoon grated fresh root ginger

1 tablespoon English mustard

¼ teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes

½ teaspoon salt


  1. Peel the courgette and discard any large seeds, chop into small pieces
  2. Finely chop the apple, onion and green pepper, place in a large saucepan along with the courgette and other ingredients in the list. 
  3. Bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat until thick. About 45-55 minutes, stirring often to stop it sticking and burning.
  4. Cool a little.  Ladle into sterilised jars, cover with a waxed disc and lid.
  5. Keep in a cool dark place for at least 3 weeks before using.

Lemon, ginger and courgette jam

About this recipe:   This recipe is probably best made with yellow courgettes which are sweeter than the green ones.       If you don’t have enough courgettes to do the quantity given, just adjust the amount of sugar, using the same weight of sugar as courgettes and adjust the amount of ginger and lemon – these don’t have to be exact, but the amount will affect the strength of the lemon and ginger flavouring.     The quantity given should make about 5 standard sized jars                     


1.4 kg (approx. 3lbs) courgettes
1.4 kg (3 lbs) white sugar.
2 lemons, rind & juice 5 cm (2 inches) of root ginger
5 cm  (2 inches) of crystallised stem ginger (optional).


  1. Peel the courgettes and chop into tiny cubes. This can take a long time but it’s quicker if you cut the courgette in slices about 1cm thick, then cut through 3-4 slices at a time first one way, then at right angles (see photo above).  You need to hold the stack together cupping your left hand over the slices while cutting with your right hand (or vice versa if left-handed)
  2. Steam the courgettes until tender. Place them in a large bowl.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler peel the rind from the lemon in strips then juice the lemons adding the juice to the courgettes.
  4. Peel and bruise the ginger then put this together with the lemon rind in a gauze/muslin bag and add to the courgettes.
  5. Chop up the stem ginger into tiny cubes and add to the courgettes.
  6. Add the sugar and stir well. Cover the bowl and leave for 24 hours stirring occasionally.
  7. Transfer the mix to a very large heavy based pan and bring to a rolling boil until the courgettes have become translucent and setting point has been reached.   Try two ways of testing this if you don’t have a jam thermometer with the setting point of 220 degrees C on it.  Flake test:  Dip a wooden spoon in the jam, remove and turn it horizontally in the hand till the jam cools slightly.  Let the jam drop from the edge: if it’s ready and starting to set on the spoon, the drops will run together forming flakes which break off in a clean, sharp way.   Cold plate test  Take a small teaspoon of jam and cool it on a plate.  Then see if it crinkles when pushed with your finger.  Stop the jam saucepan from rapid boiling while doing this to avoid going beyond the setting point while the jam sample is cooling.
  8. Remove the saucepan from the heat once the jam has reached setting point, and pour into perfectly clean, dry and if possible, warm jars.  Fill right to the top before sealing.

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