Cookbook 64: A Good Harvest: Recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand

I purchased this book, A Good Harvest: Recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand, when I had a glut of produce from my vegetable gardens and wanted some good ideas on things I could make/do to keep what I’d grown on the shelf for longer.  I found this book on Fishpond, and after (sadly) buying quite a few books with a very UK flavour (different varieties of produce and different methods of keeping produce that don’t quite work in Melbourne), I was quite excited to find a book written by a group of women close to home.

There are a wide range of recipes in this book, relishes, jams, chutneys, butters, cakes, crumbles, sauces, conserves, jellies, pickles, pastes, dips, cordialds, teas and curds.  I’m yet to make the beetroot relish (I have beetroots to harvest and cook), and will be using various recipes in here when I inevitably (if the weather remains kind) have a glut of tomatoes, chillies and eggplants.

Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Bramble Jam


  • 1 kg blackberries
  • 500g apples, peeled and diced (crab apples if you have them)
  • 150ml water
  • 1.5 kg sugar


  1. Simmer fruit gently with water in a wide pan until soft.  Add sugar, stirring to dissolve.  Once it has dissolved (you can’t see crystals on the back of a wooden spoon), boil rapidly for 10 minutes.
  2. Put a teaspoon of jam on a saucer pre-chilled in the freezer.  Once cool, push your finger across the surface of the jam sample and if it wrinkles, it’s set.  If not, return to the boil for another 5 minutes and test again.
  3. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before bottling in sterilised jars.  Label once cold.

Notes on this recipe:

  • No photos sorry
  • Simmering the fruit until soft can take a while… I probably simmered it for about 10 minutes, because I wanted the apple to be soft, and that takes a while.  Then with the rigorous boiling, the fruit disintegrates, and you have dissolved fruit, sugar and amazing taste left behind.
  • I ended up having to boil for another 5 minutes, this really will depend on the ripeness of your fruit.
  • This makes a lot of jam, probably enough for a few months, depending on how often you eat jam, certainly enough to give some away to friends or family.  The recipe says it makes about a litre and a half of jam, that sounds about right to me.