Our sweetest favour of the moment? Homemade preserves. Fun and simple to make, bespoke jams and chutneys are the perfect gift to give to your guests (plus there's all that kudos once friends and family actually taste them). But forget plain old strawberry - we're talking bespoke flavours and delicious concoctions.
Enter Kylee Newton, of Newton & Pott, who started making her luxury preserves from her kitchen table, before going on to sell them at Broadway Market in East London, plus some of the best delis, butchers, and pubs across the capital, too. Her first book, The Modern Preserver: Chutneys, Pickles, Jams and More (£20, Square Peg) has just been released and it's already being hailed a modern cooking classic.
We heart the fresh flavour pairings like raspberry and rose, and carrot and citrus, as well as more unusual tastes from across the world such as Kimchi (a fermented vegetable dish from Korea). Inspired? Here are two of Kylee's fabulous recipes for you to get started on - your guests can thank us later!
Two-Tone Peach and Blackberry Jam
Kylee says: 'This recipe is a bit of fun: two jams for the price of one. It looks amazing and is so easy to do with most recipes that have a medium set.'
WHAT YOU NEED: (Makes 6-8 x 228ml jars)
· Peach jam
· 1kg peaches
· 500g jam sugar
· 40ml lemon juice (juice of about 1/2 lemon)
· Blackberry jam
· 1.6kg blackberries
· 200ml water
· 1kg jam sugar
· 30ml lemon juice (juice of about 1/2 lemon)
SEASON: Late summer to early autumn
HOW TO EAT: With toast, and use a long-handled spoon to get the jams out of the jar, to make sure you get the best of both flavours!
METHOD: The peaches need peeling for this recipe. Do this by cutting a cross on their base, blanching them in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then dunking them in ice-cold water. The skins will peel off easily. Make sure you start the peach jam first as it takes longer and, while it's cooking, prepare the blackberry jam. That way the jars won't cool too much before you pour in the second jam.
Peel, stone and dice the peaches. Combine all the peach jam ingredients together in a large jam pan and boil, stirring often, for 30-40 minutes.
Use the wrinkle test to check the setting point then, when ready, take off the heat and skim off any scum from the surface.
Meanwhile place the blackberries in a separate large jam pan with the water and slowly soften on a moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Add the jam sugar, stir to dissolve then bring to the boil for about 15-20 minutes stirring intermittently.
Use the wrinkle test to check the setting point. Then, when ready, take off the heat and skim off any scum from the surface.
Mark a halfway line on the warm, dry sterilised jars and pour in the blackberry jam to fill up to this line. Let it sit for 5 minutes while it forms a seal and you finish the other jam.
Once the peach jam is ready, pour it on top of the blackberry jam to fill the jars almost to the rim and seal. Keeps unopened for up to 6 months. Once opened, refrigerate and eat within 4-6 weeks.
Passion Fruit Curd
Kylee says: 'Curds work so well as a result of their sharp and tangy taste contrasting with their creamy texture; the passion fruit introduces a more exotic angle on the traditional spread.'
WHAT YOU NEED (makes 2 x 190ml jars):
· 12 passion fruit
· 4 medium eggs, plus 2 yolks
· 120g caster sugar
· 100g unsalted butter
HOW TO EAT: Use to fill miniature tarts and put a raspberry on top, or fold through a cake mixture before baking it.
METHOD: Remove the seeds of 9 passion fruit by scooping out the flesh, gently pulse-blending it then pushing it through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the seeds and keeping the juice. Cut the remaining 3 in half, scoop out the flesh and set aside.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until they are well mixed and light and frothy in texture.
Gently melt the butter in a medium, heavy- bottomed pan on a low heat, then slowly stir in the eggs and sugar mix and the sieved passion fruit juice.
Keep stirring and cooking over a low heat until the mixture has thickened to a custard- like consistency. This may take longer than you think, but be patient and don't be tempted to increase the heat as this may scramble the eggs.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining seeded passion fruit pulp.
Ladle into warm, dry sterilised jars, filling them to about 5mm below the rim. Seal, leave to cool then refrigerate.
Keeps for up to 1-2 weeks in the fridge.