Making jam and marmalade can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated. I was lucky enough to have a trained WI judge teach me (thanks Mum!), but this book is the next best thing!
First Preserves author Vivien Lloyd has 25 years’ experience of making and demonstrating award-winning preserves.
As well as judging competitions, Vivien runs preserve-making courses and has produced how-to DVDs. She is passionate about her craft and this book is the result. Preserving is a science, so it’s crucial to understand the processes involved to be successful at it.
Who is it for?
People who have always wanted to make preserves but never had the guts to try, or those that have not had a very successful start and want to get back to basics. It explains all the processes with pictures to illustrate, so you’re absolutely clear what to do and what to look out for.
But also preservers who want to enter their wares into competitions. There’s an entire chapter where Vivien offers up advice on preparing for the competition, divulges the key things judges are looking for and reveals the common faults in unsuccessful entries. Brilliant – if only Ealing had a village show!
Easy to follow
The book is divided into Marmalade, Jam and Chutney sections, with detailed explanations of every stage of the preserving process, from the preparation to how to fill and seal the jars.
The text is clear and written in a super understandable way. The pictures are really practical as you just want to be able to glance at something quickly to check that your bubbling vat of jam looks as it should.
I guess my only criticism is the paragraphs could have been further broken down into bullet points so you can quickly cast your eye and not lose your place.
Most likely to cook
See how I got on making my first batch of Seville Orange Marmalade>>> using Vivien’s recipe. I’m also putting these on my to-do list:
Lemon and Lime Marmalade
Rhubarb and Raspberry Jam
Damson, Ginger and Cardamom Chutney
Least likely to cook
Green Tomato and Banana Chutney doesn’t sound too appealing. I’d certainly want to try someone else’s to see if I liked it before committing to make it!
Would you buy it for a friend?
It’s a lovely little book and I think it would be a great gift – you could get someone kitted out with pretty jars, a jam pan and a copy of this book for a really special pressie.
Rating out of 10
9 – an authoritative approach and a fab bible to have stashed on your cookbook shelf.
First Preserves is on sale now, priced at £14.99 and available from amazon and www.vivienlloydpreserves.com
Thanks for my review copy