Our pick this month is The London Jam Factory, a company started in 2014 by confiturier Pierre Louis Phelipot. The London Jam Factory presents a variety of unusual flavours, and you can find delicious and tasty jams in beautifully presented jars. Combinations such as kiwi and mint, apple, caramel and nuts are among over 60 different flavours. We interviewed Pierre Louis and asked more information about his jam-making business.
When did you create The London Jam Factory? How did your experience as a confiturier grow over the years?
The company was created back in April 2014 when I quit my job as MD for a big company. I had already started The London Jam Factory before quitting my job, producing jams for my friends, my family and a coffee shop – Maison d etre, in Islington. However the demand was growing and I decided to make the big jump and dive into the exciting world of entrepreurship.
So the London Jam Factory was created and grow nicely month by month.
I always loved jam and was always frustrated to have the same flavour over and over again. This is why I thought I could create flavours which are a bit more interesting and unusual. I starting mixing fruit with essence, herbs, spices and alcohol and it works.
Would you describe the process of jam-making?
The process starts with the selection of the fruit: a lot of people think that overripe or damaged fruit are good for jams. Well, actually it is the opposite; you need to choose them slightly underripe. It really helps to add less sugar and the jam to set properly.
Then comes the cooking. As I put less sugar I need to cook the jam over 2 to 3 days making short and quick boil for maximum of 5 minutes.
This step is very important as if you cook them too long the fruit gets brown or loses all its taste.
What is your favourite selection?
It depends on the day and on the bread I eat with my jams! My partner being German loves strong and heavy sourdough full of seeds. This kind of bread requires very strong jams such as mango and passion fruit. In a yogurt for instance you can treat yourself with more subtle jams such as Raspberry and Geranium or Plum and Hazelnut.
What is the function of sugar in jams and how The London Jam Factory priorities fruits over sugar?
The sugar helps the jams to preserve. But jams contains far too much sugar: in a regular jar you can have around 65 to 70% of sugar. This is far too much. At The London Jam Factory we have around 49 to 56 % only. The rest is fruit.
What kitchen tools are unmissable for a successful result?
Copper pan. Copper creates a chemical reaction essential in the jam making process. It cuts the pectin molecule into multiple way and help the setting once the jam is cooked.
Can you give us some tips for making jam at home?
- Use slightly underripe fruit
- Dont hesitate to put less sugar
- Dont leave the jam overcooking
- Finally don’t get scared to fail. This is the best learning experience