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Book review: Pam the Jam: The Book of Preserves, by Pam Corbin

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Book review: Pam the Jam: The Book of Preserves, by Pam Corbin

With increasing competition across all sectors of the industry, successful businesses are the ones that stand out from the crowd and offer a point of difference.

This may be something as major as a sparkling and innovative refurbishment or as simple as the marmalade served with your toast at breakfast. It is the latter that this new book, Pam the Jam, will be able to help you with.

Pam Corbin is a leading expert on preserves. She ran her own business in Dorset, making and selling jams for 14 years before selling up to Wilkin & Sons. She then went on to teach preserve making at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage business, to write books and become a judge of the World’s Original Marmalade Awards in the Lake District.

Corbin has refined her recipes in the book, moving towards using less sugar in jam and less vinegar in pickles and chutneys. As a result, by shining new light on a traditional craft, the recipes pack in more flavour, creating preserves that are more in tune with today’s health requirements and tastes.

As well as the all-time favourite raspberry and strawberry jams, there are a host of recipes offering more innovative concoctions that will bring added interest to a breakfast table or afternoon tea spread. Try, for instance, a plum spread spiced with star anise; rhubarb with rose jam; or the more off-beat gingered courgette jam. Pear and chocolate spread would be a decadent treat added to yogurt or as a layer inside a Victoria sandwich.

The savoury recipes are equally innovative, with the likes of pumpkin achar, apricot and rosemary sweet vinegar and onion and tamarind jam. There is much more besides, with chapters on Coulis & Compotes, Jellies, Fruit Cheeses, Fruit Curds and a very comprehensive one on Marmalade (featuring bergamot lemon, honeyed grapefruit and orange and sherry).

It really is the little things that can be memorable during a hotel stay or restaurant visit and Pam the Jam will go some way to helping you achieve this with maximum impact.

Pam the Jam: The Book of Preserves, by Pam Corbin (Bloomsbury, £20)

Recipe of the week: Tomato and chilli jam >>

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