If you’re looking for inspiration to help you with the glut of summer fruits and vegetables, Kylee Newton is your girl.
Newton’s latest book written in collaboration with the National Trust, Jams with a twisttakes jam making to another level and features illustrations by Claire Hurrup rather than photographs.
“This is no ordinary jam book,” she says.
A New Zealander living in London, Newton has worked in a variety of creative professions, from assisting photographers to floristry. She started making preserves seven years ago to give homemade Christmas gifts and it led to a lifelong passion for conservation.
Newton now divides his time between London and New Zealand taking courses in writing and food preservation.
Jams with a twist is divided into five sections covering different types of jams, from adding flavors using natural additives like flowers, herbs, spices, nuts and seeds to taking them out into the wild, whether in the garden or further for the ingredients.
If you want to get creative, there’s a section on jelly floats showing how to get those “pretty little floaty looks” through crystal clear jellies and also how to make layers in jams and jellies.
“I call them two-tone and running lights.”
And in what she calls the “last greatest twist of all” is the chapter on adding these jams and jellies into traditional and classic English desserts.
“To use them in everyday meals, which is something very close to my heart.”
These recipes are taken from Jams with a twist by Kylee Newton, (HarperCollins, RRP $25).
Jam of red peppers and roasted peppers
This is a recipe that my mother suggested to me during a recent summer visit to New Zealand. It’s so good that she has it continually crafted and ready for any impromptu visit from a friend. Best served with cheese, crackers, and wine, but I’m sure you’ll find many other delicious uses.
Makes 2-3 230ml jars
2 large red peppers
120g long red chillies
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 small red onion, peeled
50g of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 lime, grated zest and juice
260g caster sugar
140 ml white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
Preheat the oven to 200°C/190°C fan.
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, place on a baking sheet or roasting pan and roast for 20-25 minutes, until softened and that the skin can be easily removed. Lower the oven to 100°C and sterilize your jars and lids.
Meanwhile, cut the peppers lengthwise, deseed them (or leave the seeds for a spicier version) and coarsely chop them. Put in a food processor with the peeled peppers and mix some legumes.
Coarsely chop the garlic and onion and add them to the pepper/chili mixture with the ginger, lime zest and juice. Blend a few more pulses until smooth and place in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in the sugar until it is completely dissolved before adding the vinegar.
Bring to a rapid boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 35 minutes or until thickened to a sticky jam-like consistency.
When ready, pour into hot sterilized jars, using a teaspoon to squeeze out any trapped air bubbles. Seal and store, unopened, in a cool, dark place for up to 6-8 months. Once opened, keep refrigerated and consume within 3-4 weeks.
Carrot Bread and Butter Pudding with Orange Marmalade
When it comes to comfort foods, bread and butter pudding definitely delivers. Although you can use any marmalade in this recipe, be sure to try it with the spicy carrot version – it could be a game changer.
Makes 4 × 250-300ml large jars
10-12 thin slices of brioche or white bread
20-30g unsalted butter, softened
3-4 tablespoons spicy carrot marmalade
10-15g raisins (optional)
3 large free-range eggs
220 ml fresh cream
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Prepare the bread slices by cutting off the hard crusts, buttering one side and cutting them into triangles. Flip the triangles over and spread the marmalade on the other side (this can get messy). Stack the triangles upright in the jars, with the butter to the back and the triangle tips up, sprinkling with raisins as you go (if using).
Whisk the eggs, then add 160 ml of cream and all the milk. Pour this mixture over the bread triangles, dividing it evenly between the jars, making sure all the bread is soaked. Wait 5 minutes while everything absorbs.
Bake on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven (remove covers with rubber seals) for 16-20 minutes until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes and serve with a drizzle of liquid cream on top or in a pitcher on the side.
Spicy Carrot Marmalade
A marmalade for those who claim to dislike marmalade, so make no mistake; it is not a bitter version. Enjoy it with cheese or in a ham baguette topped with arugula and cheese, and also try it in desserts, such as meringues topped with whipped cream or as a base for steamed puddings.
Makes 4 to 5 230ml jars
[oranges moderate in pectin]
850g of oranges, not waxed or rubbed
600g of carrots, peeled and grated
680g of white sugar
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 green cardamom pods, gently crushed
2 star anise
50ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Using a sharp knife, cut the skin off the oranges and discard half of the skin. Scrape the white pith with a teaspoon or a sharp paring knife. Cut the prepared skin into very thin strips (1 mm). Cut the orange flesh into 1 cm pieces, removing as much of the seeds and membrane as possible. Place in a large bowl with the juice from the cutting board and the grated carrots.
Mix the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and star anise, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
The next day, sterilize your jars and lids. Place the carrot mixture in a jam pot with the water and lemon juice, then bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 35 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. reduced to a thicker, stickier jam consistency.
Once at the desired set, choose the spices and pour the marmalade into hot sterilized jars, using a teaspoon to push out any trapped air bubbles.
Seal and store, unopened, in a cool, dark place for up to 8-10 months.
Once opened, keep refrigerated and consume within 3-4 months.
Scones with cream and rhubarb and rose jam
High tea, anyone? How do you eat your scone? For those of us who can’t decide whether to have cream or jam first, just go for the layered effect to appease all tastes and types.
Feel free to buy the scones to save time.
Makes 4 wide mouth jars from 250ml to 300ml
120g of self-rising flour, plus a supplement for dusting
A small pinch of sea salt
2 teaspoons caster sugar
25 g unsalted butter, cooled and cut into cubes
100-120 ml of milk, ambient temperature
200 ml of double cream, lightly whipped
8 tablespoons rhubarb and rose jam or jam of your choice
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour.
Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and stir in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk in the milk a little at a time with a butter knife until the mixture comes together – it shouldn’t be too sticky but not too dry either.
Roll out the dough on a lightly dusted surface and shape it into a round, then flatten it to about 2cm thick. Choose a round cookie cutter 1cm smaller than the diameter of your jars and twist and press gently into the dough to make 4 scones.
Place them close together on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Once ready, let cool before cutting in half. Put the bottom slices in your jars first, then the cream or jam; pile the other half on top, followed by the jam or cream.
Rhubarb and rose jam
Rhubarb, although officially a vegetable, makes excellent jam. In winter, forced rhubarb, mostly from the “Rhubarb Triangle” in West Yorkshire, is grown in dark barns and harvested by candlelight. Depriving it of light creates the wonderful pink hue we associate with rhubarb – a wonderful color for jam. Use field rhubarb if you’re making this jam in the spring or summer, but note that this field variety’s photosynthesis process gives it a green hue, so you won’t get the pink hues to match the scent. rose of this jam.
Makes 6 to 7 230ml jars
1.3 kg of forced or country rhubarb, cut into 1 to 2 cm cubes
60ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
700g jam sugar
1 tbsp rose water or rose extract
1 tablespoon dried rose petals
Sterilize your jars and lids.
Place the prepared rhubarb in a jam pot with the water and lemon juice.
Soften over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t stick and burn on the bottom of the pan.
When it becomes a pulp, bring to a rapid boil over the highest heat and stir in the sugar until it is completely dissolved. Return to boil vigorously for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the bubbles start to get heavier, remove from the heat and start testing for a soft-set jam, where the jam slowly falls off your finger.
Once at the desired setting, carefully skim off any scum, mix the rose water and petals and pour the hot jam into hot sterilized jars and seal. Store unopened in a cool, dark place for up to one year. Once opened, keep refrigerated and consume within 1-2 months.
Note: Rose can be an overpowering flavor, but not as “fragrant” as one might think if used wisely. Add a little at a time depending on your taste and note how much you can manage.