The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Anna Berrill Headshot

Haute Confiture

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Take a revival in home baking, add a pinch of Kate Moss, a dusting of the Duchess of Cambridge and the result is well-risen sales in jam making equipment.

Every summer we descend on the Ile de Re and my first port of call is always their delectable jam shop. Sticky and gooey, the smell of sweet fresh fruit bubbling away wafts out of the doors, shelves packed with a selection of jams, relishes and condiments, to rival any chocolate box selection.

Jam making is having something of a revival, no longer just confined to the ladies of the WI. From the classics raspberry and strawberry to the slightly unusual apple pie and melon with ginger, confiture has turned into a cult.

Last popular back in the 70s, equipment for jam-making is proving popular, with sales of thermometers increasing by 17%, jam jars by 37% and funnels by 61% at John Lewis over the past six months. And there has also been a big increase in the sales of the ready-made stuff too, with demand growing for the more bizarre concoctions and flavour combinations.

Take bacon jam. The barbecue-style relish from East London's Eat 17 is made from smoked bacon, sticky red onions, coffee, and even a drop of whisky, and is delicious mixed into pies and casseroles, or served with burgers.

Or what about Nigella's chilli jam or Oxenpark Farm's bramble and chocolate mint jam? We seem to have moved beyond the usual suspects of strawberry and raspberry for jazzing up a Victoria sponge, classic scones, or slices of bread and Noddy's lunch.

As Britain remains firmly in the grip of the baking boom, channeling The Good Life with homemade scones, tarts, and cakes, and allotment waiting lists continue to grow, preserving and pickling is the activity du jour.

While Moss may prefer plum and the Duchess a classic strawberry, with a glut of seasonal fruit and veg available this summer, there are plenty of good quality jam ingredients around. So, go to a pick-your-own with a spurt of enthusiasm and capture the flavour of summer with some good berries, a dash of sugar and a little patience.