Happy tuesday fiery food fans, today we’re returning to devon. Or, more specifically, the South Devon Chilli Farm.
Last time we heard from them I was trying out one of their jams and I’m going to be doing the same again now. Only, this time it’s a rather different sort:
What I have here isn’t sold on its heat but on its elderflower content and the delightfully delicate, rather british and summery taste that that provides.
It’s their Elderflower Chilli Jelly.
This difference in purpose is clear, too, from its lighter, pale-yellow packaging, compared to that other jam’s black. Yet they make its chilli content well know, all the same, with the stylised pepper on the front, in between the product’s name and theirs.
It’s a pretty minimalist design that doesn’t mention the flowers, visually, but the pale yellow it uses is very much their shade. I feel like it gets across what it needs to, even if it could be a little clearer.
The jam itself, though, is almost perfectly clear. A thin, spreadable, amber jelly with only the tiniest fragments of its flower and apple peel content to mar its otherwise perfect clarity.
In fact, it looks almost like honey until I photograph it and my camera picks up some rather redder hues within.
I think it’s safe to say, at this point, that it isn’t your average, pepper-heavy, chilli jam. It’s more of a jam with chilli – A verdict that its ingredients list definitely supports:
Sugar, Apples (40%), Elderflowers (5%), Fresh Chillies (1%).
A simple list that gives no clues as to the pepper itself.
And, while we can tell it’s red from the product’s appearance, that’s about all I can get from its flavour, too. It’s not exactly the strongest of tastes in this apple and elderflower jam and, given the delicate nature of elderflowers, that’s saying a lot.
This jam isn’t particularly bold with any of its flavours but its boldest is definitely the flower itself. Though there are also plenty of light, golden undertones, presumably stemming from the sugar and apple.
To me, it seems as though the chilli is here just for heat, which is a shame when an orange habanero could so pleasantly compliment both the golden undertones and the floral overtones of this particular blend. However, its already on the high side of a
and its usability as a breakfast item on toast, pancakes or crumpets would definitely suffer if it went any higher.
Plus, even without the chilli contributing much to its taste, this jam is a delicious combination of light and floral, yet almost honeyed that really shows off what its signature ingredient is capable of.
It’s not a jam for cheese sarnies, regardless of what the jar might say, but it’ll still go with milder, creamier cheeses, perhaps in the form of 💀 a chilli cheesecake 💀. And regular cake will suit it, too, allowing it to act as a very different victoria sponge filling.
It may work as a glaze for meats, like other, more standard, chilli jams do, but, if it does, it will be a light one, only accenting the flavour of the main dish slightly.
Where, in my opinion, this is going to be at its best is on breakfasts, as stated above, or with clotted cream on scones.
I found this jam at a chilli festival about 4 years ago at West Dean gardens near Chichester and I ran out of it at the end of last year (was perfectly fine being opened, stored in the fridge and used after its BBE).
I really enjoyed the delicate floralness of this jam on toast and the slight kick woke me up in the mornings!
Unfortunately Devon is a bit of a stretch from Sussex and after starting elderflower fizz last night, I’m so tempted to try to make elderflower jam. I have Wrecking Ball, Lemon Drop and Peach Habenero chillies in the freezer.
Your suggestion with using Orange Hab is a good one as they’re lovely and fruity before the initial punch! But could be a little too strong.
I think the slight lemony flavour off the Lemon Drop chillies may work, they’re pretty hot, but no way as hot as Habenero!
I’ve got over 1kg of jam sugar in the cupboard that needs using up, so I may make it a lockdown challenge before the elderflowers finish! 😉
Thanks for your blog, enjoyed reading that.
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Hi Sarah, I’m happy to hear that you’ve been enjoying my blog and I appreciate the feedback, both on your experience with the product and my own suggestions. I can’t say that I’m familiar with the Wrecking Ball but I know the other two peppers that you mentioned very well and I think that either would be a great choice in an elderflower jam.
Peach Habaneros have a slightly lighter, more floral flavour that would probably make for an even better inclusion than their orange cousins but I do agree that Habs, in general, could be all to easy to overdo. The Lemondrops would definitely make for a more manageable first attempt but, even then, you might want to keep in mind just how little South Devon Chilli Farm use. A mere 1% by weight.
Good luck and please do let me know how it goes.
Oh and, if you haven’t seen it already, you might want to check out my recent review of A Bit of a Pickle’s lemon curd: https://spicefreak.blog/2020/06/01/lemondrop-curd
That one’s another delicious breakfast time spread with rather more of a citrus and Lemondrop theme.