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Pam the jam is the queen of preserves


By Features Reporter


Pam Corbin – the queen of preserves. Photo: Mark Diacono/Bloomsbury/PA
Pam Corbin – the queen of preserves. Photo: Mark Diacono/Bloomsbury/PA

Pam Corbin – famed for her River Cottage connections and panache with preserves – has just shared her latest recipe collection of things to be jarred, stored and scoffed: Pam The Jam.

And so a compendium to pick from, Ella Walker thought surely there’ll be a pickle or jam out there she can get a handle on.

Ella said: “Ignoring Pam’s suggestion to use a water bath to sterilise my jars, I went old-school and gave them a good soap in hot water, followed by 15 minutes in a low oven (120 degrees fan). They couldn’t have looked any shinier or bacteria-free had they been in an industrial steriliser.”

Raw ginger for sushi ginger. Photo: Mark Diacono/Bloomsbury/PA
Raw ginger for sushi ginger. Photo: Mark Diacono/Bloomsbury/PA

Sushi ginger

“Having just returned from a trip to Japan, this seemed like a pickle that would get considerable usage in my now Japanese-cuisine-obsessed household,” explained Ella.

“Unable to track down the pink-tipped, very young ginger found in Asian supermarket, I plumped for your standard bronze fare found everywhere (Pam says it’s spicier but just as good, as long as it’s not gone dry and stringy).

“I mixed my golden wafers of peeled ginger with salt and left them for a couple of hours under a sheet of baking paper and a plate, to draw out excess moisture.

“Suitably rested, following a rinse in cold water and a gentle pat down with a tea towel, my ginger went for a simmer in a tart, nose-tickling mixture of water, sugar and rice wine vinegar, before being jarred up.”

Sushi ginger verdict: Absolute doddle to put together, and I’ll be chucking pickled ginger on absolutely everything from now on.

Lemon and honey curd in process. Photo: Mark Diacono/Bloomsbury/PA
Lemon and honey curd in process. Photo: Mark Diacono/Bloomsbury/PA

Lemon and honey curd

“There’s just something so luxurious about lemon curd. And I’m a lemon drizzle fiend – my citrus cake skills will know no bounds if I can manage to whip up curd too,” noted Ella.

“I felt like quite the lemon murderer by the end though, getting through seven of the sunshine babies before the requisite 250ml juice was squished out of them.

“Folding the juice and zest into a bath of sugar and butter, drizzled with honey and melted over a bain-marie, everything was going to plan until it took significantly longer than the nine to 10 minutes specified for the mixture to thicken and get up to 78 degrees. But it might have been my set-up – my heatproof bowl was not all that snug with the pan.

“So I went rogue, popped a lid on, whacked up the heat and ignored the buzzer until it reached the desired glassiness and temperature (forgive me, Pam, it was way over 20 minutes in the end). I barely got the yellow gloop poured into jars before I’m at it with a spoon. It’s that good!”

Lemon and honey curd verdict: Aside from a thermometer being pretty necessary, similarly straightforward to achieve. Now very tempted to attempt a lemon meringue pie.

Pam The Jam: The Book Of Preserves by Pam Corbin, is published by Bloomsbury, priced £20. Available now
Pam The Jam: The Book Of Preserves by Pam Corbin, is published by Bloomsbury, priced £20. Available now


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