The spark that became Cambridge Preserves Kitchen came from the gift of a treeful of Golden Nobles.These are fragrant, delicately-flavoured yellow apples with a long heritage. For years the person that owned this particular tree had left fallers outside her house for anyone to use, and I had been doing just that – my children enjoyed collecting some on the way home from the park or from school to make apple crumble, spicy chutney and apple jellies flavoured with herbs.
Fast forward to 2016 and the new owners of the house offered me the tree’s entire crop. Who could resist? Not me! I wanted to change my work for a more creative, productive way of life. And so, combining imagination, drive, culinary skills and a passion for good, locally sourced food, that tiny bud of an idea grew into Cambridge Preserves Kitchen (CPK).
I am based just outside Cambridge, close to a ‘golden triangle’ of orchards, so I’m lucky to have access to a fantastic choice of apples, pears, gages and plums, many of them heritage varieties. I search for local and regional produce to use in the kitchen, talk to domestic and commercial growers, find out about heritage varieties and try to discover why so many of us love flavours like caramel, vanilla and cinnamon. I prefer to use single varieties whenever possible so that the real flavour of the fruit shines through.
Join me on a food journey to discover great flavour combinations that add zest and sparkle to the table. Welcome to Cambridge Preserves Kitchen!