In a pickle: Basic preserving course at Loaf Cookery School

In a Pickle: Preserving. Photo by Jane Baker

Come and spend an enjoyable evening at Loaf HQ learning the basics of preserving, and leave with your own preserves. We’ll start at the very beginning by selecting the right ingredients, learning how to sterilise equipment, learning about the importance of pectin, sugar content, and temperature, how to reach setting point for jams and jellies, and how to know when your chutney or relish is ready.

The evening is led by Loaf director Tom Baker and Rachel Carter from Cuffufle, who will demonstrate as well as guide you through doing the process yourselves, and be on hand to answer questions about equipment, supplies, and further reading.

At our preserving courses we try and use seasonal fruit and veg that we locally source. We look at many different ways to preserve and many different forms ‘preserves’ come in, from Jams to mustards, from Fruit syrups/cordials to chutneys, from fruit vinegars to relishes.

On our October course likely fruit to use/preserve will be apples, tomatoes, plums, pears, and autumn raspberries. Rachel sources a lot of her fruit from foraging, but also from Old Sandlin Fruits near Malvern, and Augernik Fruit farm in Hopton Wafers, just outside Cleobury Mortimer, they grow organically, plus she loves going to visit the Auger family! Tom sources his preserve ingredients from his allotment and foraging and the marvellous Wards’ grocers of Stirchley.
Draft list of preserves to be made/demonstrated: (this may change according to what local seasonal produce is available the day before the course)
  • Plum jam
  • Raspberry jam
  • An apple based cordial
  • Piccalilli
  • A tomato, courgette or onion relish
  • Horseradish mustard
  • Raspberry vinegar
  • Sauerkraut

If you have any excess produce from your own garden or allotment, we may be able to incorporate it into the workshop, so please let us know if theres anything you’d like to bring along.

The next course is on Wednesday 1st October and starts promptly at 6.30pm, finishes at 9.30pm, and takes place at Loaf HQ in Stirchley, South Birmingham.

You’ll feel right at home at Loaf, and everything you learn will set you up for impressing your friends and family with your new found skills at home. All refreshments, equipment, recipes and aprons are provided. The course costs £50 per person including VAT. Book via the course page on the website or by contacting

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