Clippy McKenna launches 500 Jams and Preserves book

PUBLISHED: 00:03 03 September 2013

500 Jams and Preserves, by Clippy McKenna

500 Jams and Preserves, by Clippy McKenna

Jon Whitaker

Jam-making is one of the cornerstones of country life. A new book from a local hero of the preserve world tells you how

One of her first accolades in life was a Brownie badge for marmalade-making. And Michelle ‘Clippy’ McKenna, from Sale, had found her talent right there and then.

Today, the Clippy’s Apples brand is attached to yummy pots of apple and raspberry ripple conserve, apple, tomato and roasted garlic relish, apple and blueberry conserve, apple, garlic and thyme jelly, fine-cut orange marmachilli...the list goes on.

The business, run with her other half Paul Gorman, began five years ago, merely from a desire to find a use for apples from her own and neighbours’ back gardens. Clippy – so nicknamed for her love of hair grips - was at the same time researching a PhD proposal on subjects including the dwindling of British orchards. An idea formed that she could play her part in the renaissance of the British apple. And, despite launching the business in the throes of recession, it has blossomed into a range of products on sale not just in farm shops but also the likes of Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Booths and Ocado, with exports going to the USA and China.

Last year, Clippy was declared winner of the entrepreneur section of the North West’s prestigious Inspiring Women Awards.

The next challenge is for Clippy to enthuse the rest of us to become a nation of jam and chutney makers. She has produced a book to do just that, revealing the secrets of traditional preserving techniques using sugar, vinegar, oil and alcohol to produce jams, jellies, fruity curds, fruit cheeses, relishes, pickles, chutneys, fruit liqueurs, sauces, ketchups and more.

It’s in an honourable tradition. The very first recipe book, Of Culinary Matters, written in the first century by Roman gastronome Marcus Gavius Apicius, included recipes for jams and preserves.

500 Jams and Preserves, by Clippy McKenna is published on September 5 at £9.99 by Apple Press

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