This seasons fruit - full fruit no pips!
All of our jams are taken from recipe books dated back early 1900s. You can't beat Grandma's original recipes and methods but we do try to cut out as much sugar as possible but its hard to get to setting point so unfortunately its back to the way Grandma made it. Naturally it's full of fruit sugar and no other additives.
Warning. This product may contain peanut residue.
So this may have been my favourite find this year so far! So many reasons! I have tried a couple of other Pa Hill products in 2020 and found them very high quality and unusual and they would not be mistaken for another brand/thing. The unique high quality is deceptive as their packaging is simple and clear and I would love to see the range expand as they really do something a little bit different.
So when I received the jam the first thing I noticed was the jar. The jar has straight sides and is slightly smaller than I expected (430g to be specific). This is actually a great thing for me as it means the jar is way more reusable as it doesn't have a ridge, like the peanut butter and chutneys! I am currently using the jar to take food to work for lunch as it just goes back in the dishwasher and I know its a good seal for liquids. In this era of sustainability, I felt the packaging was perfect!
So onto the jam. Apricot jam is something I grew up with and I think I have probably tried everything on the market from the cheapest to the imported European varieties. As a self-professed expert, I loved the old fashioned taste - which was totally the best way to describe it - tastes like grandmas! It was smooth and subtle in texture and taste some might say runny as it was definitely not a modern processed jelly!)
The taste was very fruity and it spread perfectly for me on both crumpets and toast. It passed the apricot and cheese sandwich test by not being too chemical tasting or too sweet. I am now desperate to try the other flavours and I would love to see them bring out a gift box as I would totally gift these jams to others! - and myself!
Another success (and the photo) was my discovery of the idealness of this jam for using as a dessert compote or a fruit in my breakfasts. I make overnight oats and on a whim one night I threw a blob in the oats with the raisins and hot water, the result was great and I did it several more times after that. It was great with yoghurt and cereal so dessert or breakfast would be yummy. I tried it on crackers too but beware it is smooth and you don't need much!
There were no drawbacks (other than the price making it a treat in our frugal house) which was probably a great thing as jams like this should always be a treat and not a staple. I really think some gift boxes would be fab as the jars are lovely too!
I don't like apricot in its natural form, it's something I've never gotten enjoyment out of, but I LOVE the flavour of apricots, so I will routinely have it as fruit leather, as a juice, in lollies and other such treats. Having a chance to try a jam that looked like it would be jam packed (pun intended) with flavour and natural products, meant that I wanted to give this a try. Opening it up, it was easy to tell that there were tonnes of apricots jammed into this glass jar and I promptly grabbed a teaspoon, filled it out and gave it a good try. I was really pleased with the flavours this provided and looked forward to trying it out on things other than just a spoon.
My three kids all gave this a try, one was uninterested but the other two thoroughly enjoyed it and promptly made some toast to spread it out onto. My youngest then decided that we should add some of this jam to the plain, unsweetened, greek yogurt that we had in the fridge to see how the two worked together. This combination was a hit and the rest of the greek yogurt has since been polished off with a nice helping of apricot jam stirred through. I had an apricot slice that I had bought from the supermarket and we spread some of this on it, to give it a bigger apricot hit, and this too was a hit.
We will easily be buying this in the future.
One of the most exciting memories from my childhood involved my grandmother, a trip in the car to Cambridge, and (of course!) food. Every few months we would pile into the car and head towards a little tea shop just north-west of Cambridge where they specialised in Devonshire Teas. The main ingredient of a Devonshire Tea was a scone served with large amounts of jam (usually strawberry or apricot) and an even larger amount of whipped cream on top. I would always eat two because one was never enough.
The very sight of this jam catapulted me straight into my own past; I could think of no way better to review it that to replicate one of those special treats. I was too busy to make scones. (Ok, the real reason - I love cooking and will try anything once, but I have always been a bit of a failure when it comes to baking scones.) However, our local supermarket sells beautiful home-made scones so I cheated and bought them. We decided on the cheese variety rather than the plain because cheese does go well with jam of any kind.
I opened the apricot jam to check that it measured up to my standards. Three teaspoons later I was convinced. It was exactly as I remembered our tea shop jam; it contained nothing but apricots and sugar, and was perfect in every way. I hastily put it away before I could finish the whole jar and have nothing left to put on the scones! Despite the urge to check it again, I resisted - my aunt and cousins were expecting us for lunch and my plan was to take the ingredients and assemble them there so we could all give our opinion.
I was very proud of myself; we arrived at their house with the rest of the jar intact! While I whipped the cream, my cousins split the scones in half and warmed them ready for the treat. And a treat it was. Every single person was back for a second scone; I did not hear one negative comment. They had all been with me on those trips to that tea shop, and had the same memories that I do. They also reminded me that my grandmother actually made her own apricot jam occasionally, and always put almonds in it. But I don't remember ever having a Devonshire Tea at home; that treat was reserved for special outings.
We discussed what else we could make with the jam. Top of the list was a jam tart, the sort with thin pastry and lots of jam on top; a close second was fresh home baked bread, straight from the oven and served with plenty of butter and jam. I can imagine the second choice being quite indigestible, but I would be willing to try it anyway in the name of science. And the third choice was as an accompaniment to cold meat or a chicken roast. But we came up with many more ideas. We might need to get a second jar and do some more experimenting.
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