Q & A with Jennie from JB Preserves

At Pretty Local we love to get to know our local producers. The lovely Jennie has been making Jam in the South Hams for many years and we so love her amazing flavour combinations. We got together to ask her a few questions about her jam making and find out a little more about her!

Q1. Whats your Favourite jam?

My favourite varies depending on what I'm using it for, but favourite of all time to eat is Mirabelle Plum jam. These tiny yellow fruits (usually French) are a fiddle to prepare but the resulting vanilla/honey flavour is incredible.

Q2. Where does your fruit come from?

Most of my stone fruit comes from a private orchard in Buckfastleigh apart from sloes that I pick myself around Ivybridge, cider apples come from near Newton Abbot, Quinces from Lee mill, Crab apples from Cornwood. As I have been trading since 2005 I now have a good network of kind people who bring me fruit when they have too much so always happy to barter with goods until my freezers are full.

Q3. How do you come up with the recipes and ideas?

Some recipe's are fairly generic but some come from things I think will work well together. I have a circle of testers for new products until I'm happy to launch it to the paying public. I make all my own pectin with fresh lemons and Bramley apples as I am not happy to use commercially produced pectin.

Q4. How long have you been making jam?

Until I was 11 I lived with my Grandmother who had not only bought up 4 children as a single parent during the war but was also a school cook so making our own hedgerow jams and rosehip syrup started when I was old enough to reach the cooker standing on a dining room chair.

Q5. What’s the difference between jam and marmalade?

Jam (unless it is marked as  low sugar) has a legal definition and is required to have at least 60g sugar per 100g. Usually soft or stone fruit are used.
Marmalade also is required to have citrus fruit/peel in it but, of course if you make it just for yourself you can put in whatever you like.

Q6. What's the most bizarre flavour combination... that works? 😉

Orange and cardamon marmalade is pretty unusual but really lovely on piping hot toast. A friend of mine who is a chef raved over it in bread and butter pudding.  Mango plum and ginger chutney is a creation that came out of my head - warming, fruity, sharp, sweet and a delicious end note of ginger - amazing with strong cheese or cold chicken.

Q7. What do you like to do when your not stirring your cauldrons?

Go for a nice long walk to blow away the cooking cobwebs and exercise the dog at the same time or  I love sewing (not mending!) - anything from my own clothes to table mats, quilting and embroidery when I get the chance.

Q8. Do you have a recipe that you could share with us?

Seville Oranges are topical at the moment and only here for a few weeks so now's the time to make your bitter marmalade if you like it. Click Here to see Jennies Seville Marmalade Recipe