Norfolk marmalade maker to enter new beer-infused preserve into World Marmalade Awards 2018
PUBLISHED: 13:38 12 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:53 12 December 2017
Season’s Bounty uses porter from Boudicca Brewing Co in its latest marmalade.
Marmalade is a bit like marmite. You either snatch it from the fridge with glee and a spring in your step in the morning. Or you pass it by – haunted by memories of ‘that’ brand of astringent, dayglow concoction that has probably festered in every kitchen cupboard in the land.
A marmalade and preserve maker in Norfolk wants to change everyone’s perception of these bright, crystalline clear spreads, and she’s got a few tricks up her sleeves to make you like them – not least by adding locally made booze into the mix.
Ali Barwick, owner of Season’s Bounty, has over 22 awards to her name, including seven gold, nine silver and five bronze accolades from the World Marmalade Awards.
Her hands are always indelibly stained with the perfume of oranges, grapefruits, bergamot, or a number of other delicious fruits used in her all-natural preserves. But most recently it’s beer that’s wafting through the Season’s Bounty kitchen, as the cook launches Prasto’s Marmalade – made with Prasto’s Porter from Boudicca Brewing Co.
“I’m a big real ale fan,” says Ali, “and I love my dark beers. Prasto’s Porter’s just got one of those flavours I was looking for in a good local dark beer that would do well in a marmalade. I already make two marmalades for Woodforde’s using their beer under their label and they’ve done so well I wanted to do my own. I know Emma quite well at Boudicca and she thought it was a brilliant idea. It really does stem from my deep love of real ale.”
Prasto’s Marmalade uses old favourite Seville oranges which are naturally bitter, combining seamlessly with the beer. “Because I don’t use any water in this recipe at all and it’s truly just the beer, the marmalade is black as you like with that lovely orange strain coming through. I’m really chuffed with it and it will definitely be one I enter into the marmalade awards.”
A former self-employed gardener, Ali had no idea a few years back that a passion for making marmalades and jams would see her carve out a new career for herself. It was only after entering the World Marmalade Awards in 2014 and winning a gold medal that her competitive streak kicked in and she realised she could do this for a living.
Today, Ali makes over 25 marmalades in small batches, priding herself on unusual combinations such as bergamot and grapefruit, limequat (using lime and kumquat) and even marmalades infused with fresh Asian yuzu - £35 per kilo but “worth it”.
“I’ve converted so many people who said they don’t like marmalade. A lot of people, I’ve discovered, they don’t like bitterness and Seville oranges and that’s where I catch them. I give them blood orange, or tangerine, or clementine and lemon and they’ll suddenly say “that’s really nice”. It’s the Seville they haven’t liked, not the marmalade, and they never go back to the shop bought stuff again.”
If you’re still not convinced, why not try one of Ali’s very special jams, in flavours such as the delectable limited edition blackcurrant with maple bourbon, or strawberry with Norfolk lavender?
You’ll find Season’s Bounty products at Cromer Farm Shop, The Norfolk Deli, Walsingham Farm Shop and other outlets in East Anglia.