I’ve not treated you to one of these for a while, a lovely guest post plus special recipe, this time from Ollie Nuttall – Head Chef at Cheerbrook Farm Shop & Butchers in Nantwich, Cheshire. A local lad born and bred in the Nantwich area, Ollie started cheffing in his early teens and has learnt some of his craft whilst working in various well-rated establishments across Cheshire. He worked as sous-chef at Brunning & Price’s Old Hall in Sandbach and then went on to work at Cheshire Cat Pub Co.’s The Three Greyhounds, in Allostock, Knutsford. Both pubs serve delicious, creative, comforting classics that are consistently well-executed and both in absolutely gorgeous settings.
Being on the creative side of the academic spectrum, and with a passion for food that shone through from an early age, Ollie decided to pursue a career as a chef to follow his ambition. When I met up with Ollie to find out more about why he loves what he does (and to try his delicious jam) he was quick to tell me that no two days are the same. The job is always keeping him on his toes; coming up with new recipe creations based on the freshest, seasonal produce Cheshire has to offer and serving them up in the idyllic setting of Nantwich.
This recipe is fresh from the fruit in his garden – juicy mulberries and big cooking apples. As they were ripe and ready, he wasted no time in turning them into this scrumptious jam which is perfect on scones or even just a slice of toast. He admits, this is not something he’d usually make, but as it’s a great way to use up what nature’s provided (and save money on future pots of jam!) he thought, why not. It only cost £4 for the sugar, and 30p for the lemon the only gadget you might need to make the perfect jam is a big heavy saucepan and a jam thermometer.
This recipe takes about 1 hour and makes about 2.5kg (5 lb) of jam, or 6 jars full.
What you need:
- 1.5kg (3 lb) mulberries, washed
- 600ml (1 pint) water
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 500g (1 lb) cooking apples (prepared weight), peeled, cored & sliced
- 1.75kg (3.8 lb) jam sugar
- A knob of butter
What to do:
- Wash 6 largish jam jars, and place on a tray in the middle of the oven at 100°c to sterilise them. Leave them in the oven at this heat, until the jam is ready.
- Place the mulberries in a preserving pan (large heavy based saucepan) with half the water and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until soft and pulpy.
- Place the prepared apples, lemon juice and zest in a separate pan with the remaining water, and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
- Add the apples to the mulberries in the preserving pan, and stir in the sugar.
- Continue stirring until all the sugar is dissolved, then add the knob of butter.
- Boil the jam for 10-30mins and use a jam thermometer to test the temperature (It could take longer than 30mins)
- Test for a set using the jam thermometer, and when setting point is reached, take it off the heat and remove the top layer using a slotted spoon.
- Remove the jars from the oven, and divide the jam into them equally then add the lids.
Do you have any fresh fruit growing in the garden, which you could turn into jam? Gooseberries are in season at this time of year, as well as red currants, blueberries and cherries!
Let me know if you’re making a jam this summer and use the hashtag #sophiesscran to show me your creations.
Follow Ollie on Instagram here for more food ideas and recipe inspiration.