Apple & Ginger Jam and Book Review – First Preserves by Vivien Lloyd

Apple and Ginger Jam by Vivien Lloyd from First Preserves

Apple & Ginger Jam

Book Review

- First Preserves by Vivien Lloyd -

 

I love preserves, both making them and eating them; I am an avid jam, jelly, marmalade, curd, chutney and pickles maker and every year when the soft fruits and orchard fruits are in season, I can be found cutting, chopping, weighing, measuring and stirring in my “jam factory” in the old stable block at the back of the house! I have several books on preserves which I sometimes turn to for ideas and inspiration, but I would have loved to have had this book 25 years ago when I first ventured into making my own jams and chutneys, as it is a veritable treasure of handy tips, methods and with fabulous recipes too. The title says it all really, “First Preserves – Marmalades, Jams and Chutneys” and the book is devoted to these three main areas of preserving.

 

Apple and Ginger Jam

The book is well set out with chapters covering the making of jams, marmalades and chutneys, as well as extra chapters and sub-sections about preserving history, necessary equipment, suppliers, weights and measures as well as handy notes on preparing your home-made efforts for competitions and preserves records at the back of the book. Vivien Lloyd, the author of this fabulous book, has 25 years of making and demonstrating award-winning preserves and 18 years of judging preserves at competitions under her belt, and her clear and authoritative voice is evident throughout the book. Indeed she has won numerous first prizes for her preserve and in 2008 she won “Best of the Best” for her Seville orange marmalade at the World’s Original Marmalade Festival.

First Preserves sample spreads

Images taken from Vivien Lloyd Preserves: Rob Walster Big Blu Design

The first chapter covers all aspects of Marmalade making and comprises: preparation and all the stages of soaking, simmering, adding the sugar, the “set” as well as how to fill the jars and of course the recipes. Amongst the marmalade recipes in the book is Vivien’s prize-winning Seville orange marmalade as well as numerous other delicious sounding recipes such as Merry Marmalade, Tangerine and Lemon Marmalade, Dark and Chunky and Lemon and Lime Marmalade. There are handy step-by-step photographs and instructions for all aspects of marmalade preparation and cooking, which will prove invaluable to the marmalade novice, and demonstrate in a visual way how the sweet preserve should look at various stages.

First Preserves Chutney sample spreads

Images taken from Vivien Lloyd Preserves: Rob Walster Big Blu Design

The second chapter covers Jam; the chapter covers every stage from preparation to the finished product with added tips about suitable fruit for jam making and the history of jam making, which I found fascinating as I am a lover of all things traditional and often write about historical recipes, customs and traditions myself. The recipes in this section were innovative and I particularly liked the sound of the Apple and Ginger Jam, Blackberry and Apple Jam as well as the Tutti-Frutti Jam. I eventually made the Apple and Ginger Jam and was delighted with the results; the jam has subsequently graced my tea time-table on various occasions and has been served with toast, crumpets, scones as well as a pancake filling.

 

Apple and Ginger Marmalade on Home-made Scones

The third chapter covers Chutney, probably my favourite of all preserves. I make chutney throughout the year and use it in just about all of my cooking and baking. The chapter is split into several sections once again covering the history of chutney, spices, ingredients, information on relish and chutney as well as some lovely sounding recipes. The recipes that leapt out at me straight away were Damson, Ginger and Cardamom Chutney, Apricot and Orange Chutney and Green Tomato and Banana Chutney. I have the first and last chutneys on my “to make” list when the relevant fruits are in season, but in the meantime, I made the Apricot and Orange chutney as it uses dried apricots and also has ginger in the list of ingredients, which I am very fond of! The result was fabulous citrus chutney with wonderful depth and layers of different flavours – it has already adorned several meals already to include a fine Welsh rarebit and a Ploughman’s Lunch.

Images taken from Vivien Lloyd Preserves: Rob Walster Big Blu Design

The last chapters of this book cover Competitions – how to prepare for entering your preserves in to competitions, the judging and common faults in jams, marmalades and chutneys. I found this section very helpful, and again Vivien is very knowledgeable about this aspect of preserves, as she is a judge for many national and regional competitions. Following on from this section is a handy fruit chart for jams and chutneys and the book ends with suggested suppliers, weights and measures, acknowledgements, some useful preserves records for recording your successes and awards at competitions, as well as an index listing all the recipes and salient points throughout the book.

Festival award

Vivien’s passion for safe-guarding this age-old way of preserving fruit as well as trying to save and promote traditional recipes is evident throughout the book and for me, this gave the book a wonderful warm and friendly feel as well as imparting something very precious, something that we all ought to try to preserve (excuse the pun), making sure that age-old traditional recipes are not passed over in favour of more modern interpretations. I fully endorse this book; as an experienced preserver,  it supported my existing knowledge of preserving whilst also providing me with hitherto unknown facts and provided exciting new recipes for me to try. For the novice, the book provides a wealth of information, as well as handy step-by-step instructions and photos, and all explained in simple layman’s terms, plus, there are some wonderful recipes that are aimed at all levels of preservers.

 

Apple and Ginger Jam

If I could go back to when I first started making preserves, this would have been the only book I would have needed for making jams, chutneys and marmalade – it is authoritative, interesting and would be the perfect handbook for any aspiring preserver and for those wishing to enter into competitions.

Karen Burns-Booth

NB: I am showcasing Vivien’s lovely Apple and Ginger Jam today, and she very kindly allowed me to post her recipe here; the Orange and Apricot chutney will be featured on my blog next week, so do look out for it.

Recipe reproduced below with kind permission from Vivien Lloyd.

Apple and Ginger Jam

Serves Makes about 2.25kg (5lb)
Prep time 45 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Condiment
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Region British
From book First Preserves by Vivien Lloyd
A beautiful amber coloured jam with the gentle heat of ginger added to the apples. Perfect for scones, toast, fresh bread, crumpets, muffins, tarts and pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 1.4kg (3lb) cooking apples
  • 600ml (1 pint) water
  • Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
  • 5ml (1tsp) ground ginger
  • 125g (4oz) crystallised ginger, finely chopped
  • 1.4kg(3lb) granulated sugar

Directions

Step 1 Peel, core and slice the apples, tying all the peelings and cores in a piece of muslin, briefly scalded in boiling water from a kettle. Place the apples in a large preserving pan with the water, lemon rind and juice, and ground ginger. Add the muslin bag to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the apples are tender.
Step 2 Warm the sugar in an ovenproof bowl in a pre-heated oven 140C/275F/Gas Mark 1. Remove the muslin bag and squeeze out the juices, back into the pan by pressing it against the side of the pan with a large spoon. Remove the sugar from the oven.
Step 3 Add the sugar to the pan and the crystallised ginger. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the pan to a rolling boil. Test for a set after 5 minutes using the flake, cold plate or thermometer test. As soon as setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for a few minutes. Push any scum from the surface of the pan to the side and remove it with a metal spoon.
Step 4 Gently stir the jam and pour into clean, warm jars. Seal immediately either with new twist top lids or with waxed discs and cellophane covers secured with rubber bands. If using waxed discs and cellophane covers, apply the covers and rubber bands when the jam is cold in the jars.

 

Apple and Ginger Jam spread on freshly made sconesz

 

Apple and Ginger Jam

With thanks to Vivien for sending me a review copy of her book.
Photos taken from Vivien’s website are by Rob Walster Big Blu Design. (@BigBluDesign)
First Preserves can be purchased from:
Vivien Lloyd Preserves and Amazon co uk

Comments

  1. says

    As a relative newcomer to jam making this book looks like a must-have for me, thanks for the review.
    The apple and ginger jam looks wonderful – I must give that a try…..as for the scones, they are my nemesis – always turn out like house bricks but I never give up hope !!

    • says

      This is a FABULOUS recipe and VERY easy! The book that this jam comes from is First Preserves by Vivien Lloyd (Available on Amazon!) and would be great for youn as a newbie jam maker! :-)

  2. says

    Karen, I thought I’d ordered this book, just checked my Amazon account and found I hadn’t. Following this super review I’m off to rectify the mistake, as a keen jam and chutney maker it sounds just the book fo me. Jude x

    • says

      I can REALLY recommend this book Jude, it is great for new jam makers as well as more confident ones such as you (and me!) and it also has some great recipes in it. Karen

  3. says

    I’ve always wanted to make my own preserves – it certainly beats running to the grocer and picking up a bottle of pre-made stuff. I appreciate the review and I’m off to Vivien’s site to check it out…

  4. Jennifer says

    I think I’m becoming psychic! The other day I was thinking about jams and what could I make that would be a little different and having polished off the last of my rhubarb and ginger jam though I would try apple and ginger jam. So I bought a few bags of apples and have been waiting for a day I can actually spend in the kitchen – I’ve earmarked tomorrow for the kitchen and this evening for finding a recipe – lo and behold there is your post with none other than apple and ginger jam! Thank you for saving me the time to look any further.

  5. says

    Lovely looking jam. I used to make more preserves but it’s a time thing now for me, I already spend more than enough time in the kitchen!

  6. says

    I have taken my first tentative steps into the world of preserving and have one successful chutney and one not so successful jam under my belt. I’d love to do more but lack confidence. This book sounds like it would be really useful and exactly what I need. One to put on the list I think!

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