Turkish fruit preserves are different from those in the west in that they generally are made in such a way that the fruit remains whole. Traditionally these preserves are allowed to cool before packing into jars and this method has been provided in the recipes. However as a better precaution against mold, you can pack them directly into jars, within ½ cm of the top and seal, then immediately turn the jar over and leave this way for 10 minutes. This kills any bacteria and mold spores that might cause spoilage later.
Taze Kayısı Reçeli
Fresh Apricot Preserves
Prick the apricots all over with a needle, and place in a pot. In another pot bring 6 c water to a boil, and pour over the apricots, then cover and allow to cool completely. Drain and reserve water. To the water in which the apricots soaked, add 3 ¾ cups of the sugar, and put on to boil. Add the apricots, and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove heat and allow to stand overnight. The next day, add the rest of the sugar to the pot and bring to a boil. Allow to cool again. Bring to boil once more and this time allow to boil until the syrup has thickened well. When it has thickened, add the citric acid dissolved in 2 or 3 tbsp. water, or 2 tbsp. lemon juice and allow to boil half a minute. Allow to cool completely, then pour into jars.
Green Fig Preserves
Peel the figs. Gloves must be worn while doing this as the sap is irritating/corrosive. Fill a pan halfway with water and add the figs, boil until the figs are slightly softened. Drain and discard the first cooking water, and squeeze the figs lightly to get rid of the extra water. Combine the sugar and water above and bring to a boil until it forms a syrup. Add the figs. When the syrup has thickened and the figs are more tender (they will not be completely soft), combine the citric acid (available as “limon tozu” at Turkish groceries) with a few T of water and add. You may also use 2 ½ T lemon juice instead of citric acid. Allow to boil a 30 seconds more, allow to cool completely, then pour into jars.
Wash and remove stems and caps from strawberries, and put in a large pot with water. In another pot, combine water and sugar, and boil together on medium heat to make a syrup. Drain the strawberries and add to this syrup along with half of the citric acid or lemon juice, and let boil at medium heat. (To tell if the syrup has reached the right stage: When it begins to thicken, dip a spoon into it and put a few drops on a plate. If the last drop stays round and does not spread, then the syrup is ready. When the syrup is ready, add the rest of the citric acid, dissolved in 2tbsp. water, or the rest of the lemon juice. Bring to a boil once again, then remove from heat, allow to cool completely, then pour into jars.
Sour Cherry Preserves
Remove stems and seeds from cherries, then place into a pot and add the water, bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Then add the sugar and stir gently without crushing the cherries. Continue to boil until the syrup thickens. When it has, add the lemon juice or citric acid dissolved in 2T water, and boil for another 30 seconds only. Remove any foam that may have collected, allow to cool completely, then pour into jars.
In a large pot, combine water and rose petals. Cover and bring to boil on a gentle flame. When the petals have lost their color and gone transparent, add the sugar and boil, uncovered, until the syrup thickens. When it does, add the lemon juice, or citric acid dissolved in 3T water, and allow to boil for another 30 seconds. Remove any foam that may collect on the top, allow to cool completely, then pour into jars.
Bitter Orange Preserve
Peel the skin off the bitter oranges in finger-width strips with a knife. Remove the bitter white portion. Roll each piece up and thread on a string using a packing needle. Now place the string of peels into a large pot of boiling water and boil until the peels have softened slightly. Pour off this water, and put the peels into cold water, allow to soak for 12 hours. Drain and repeat for a few day until the water in which the peels have soaked has no bitterness. Put the peels onto a plate. Bring 6 1/3 c sugar and 3 c water to boil on medium heat in a pot. When sugar has dissolved and it has formed a syrup, add the peels and boil until the syrup has thickened. When it has reached the right consistency, add the lemon juice or the citric acid dissolved in 2 ½ T water, and allow to boil 30 seconds more. Remove any foam that collects. Pull out the strings, allow to cool completely, then pour into jars.
Prepare in the same way as sour cherry preserves above, but peel the peaches first.
Peel quinces, cut into quarters and remove seeds. Cut into very small pieces or grate coarsely. Bring water to boil in a pot, add the quince, and boil until the quince softens slightly. When the fruit has begun to soften, add the sugar, and at medium heat until the syrup has reached the right thickness. Then add the lemon juice, or citric acid mixed with 2T water and boil another 30 seconds. Allow to cool completely, then pour into jars.