Baked Well, Not Stirred

Hey folks, how’s it going? Today, I thought I’d give Pembrokeshire Chilli Farm another go, given how much I enjoyed them last time, and what could be a better fit for the current winter holiday season than a spicy jam specifically designed to go with turkey?

But I’m not talking cranberry. Oh no, that’s already been done. I’m talking about their Chilli Bakewell Jam:

A sweet blend of peppers, cherries and almond essence, made to taste like the the classic tarts.

Let’s see if it does, shall we?

Before we begin, though, I do want to take a quick look at that packaging because it’s changed a bit, since the company’s Burmese Naga Pickle.

It has kept the same two chilli logo and the same pair of fonts – One again in all white – but the background is no longer transparent. Instead, we see the pattern of a hard wood floor, rendered entirely in purple. Which is kind of strange, yet surprisingly reflective of the product within.

I mean, just look at this deep, dark, pinkish, reddish, spread. Its colour is far from identical but one is clearly a caricature of the other.

And you can also see just how thickly it clings to my spoon, overhanging the edges and still staying put.

Yet what doesn’t come across, until I taste it, is just how smooth this jam is. Which is just a little bit mind-boggling, once the light, sweet, nutty flavour of the almond essence takes hold and tells my brain that I’m eating something flaky. Which, of course, no jam could ever be.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, there. Because the first thing to hit my tongue isn’t the nut but the fruit. The bold, dark, red berry taste of the cherries. Perhaps enhanced slightly by the richness of cooked red peppers.

Those peppers’ own flavour isn’t present in this jam, though. Only their low

throat kick, which is unexpectedly high, yet only shows up as the almond is starting to die down. Held back by the sugars until long after the cherry has sunken away, into the background.

It’s tasty, it’s spicy and it’s going to take the place of cranberry sauce, as its makers suggest. Be that over their turkey sandwich of choice or simply paired with tart cheese.

And it’ll work with other savoury foods, as well, perhaps glazing pork or ham, but there’s no real savoury to the jam, itself. So it’s going to be at least as at home over ice-cream, in the middle of a cake or baked into a tart for that instant bakewell flavour. Which it mimics rather well, even if it does lean a little more towards the fruity side.

It’s a thoroughly versatile and enjoyable jam, which I’d recommend wholeheartedly. The only thing I that I dislike about it lies in the labelling.

This jam is said to contain:

Sugar, Red Pepper, Cherries, Chilli, ALMOND ESSENCE, Pectin.

And that’s a lot of heat for a generic chilli. Especially one which I can’t taste. So I’m left wondering what exactly goes into today’s treat.

Not that it changes the quality of the product in any way.

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