Have you met: Lishkins Preserves

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Kyrah Lishman is passionate about preserves. She grows her own fruit and vegetables and then painstakingly transforms them into jars of joy, using traditional recipes. If you’re looking for good old-fashioned jams, chutneys, marmalades and curds, read on…

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How did Lishkins Preserves come about?

It all started when I bumped into my neighbour while I was carrying a great big bucket of raspberries. I said I didn’t know what to do with them and she suggested that I make jam. She even brought the jars round for me so I had no excuse. I then discovered that I love making jam; I used to do it with my dad when growing up and when I was made redundant I decided to follow my dream full time. I love growing fruit and veg and I love cooking so to combine the two is wonderful.

How did the name come about?

It was chosen by my children and step-children. While on holiday they like to call themselves the Lishkin Crew – a combination of my surname, Lishman, and my partner’s, Hawkins.

What was your first product?

It was the raspberry jam, followed by plum jam. My mum then told me I had to start making chutneys as that’s what everyone wants at the moment so I made an apricot and an apple chutney because I had a glut of both. They sold instantly.

What are your best-selling products?

In the jams, it’s the strawberry & vanilla which is like eating strawberries and cream. I love it on scones as you don’t need any cream but it is also fantastic in a Victoria sponge. As for the chutneys, the hot chilli jam is a best seller – it’s probably the most versatile ingredient you’ll have in your store cupboard. It’s great in a cheese sandwich, in a relish for a BBQ, or use it to give pasta dishes a little kick. Another tip is to line a quiche case with it before putting your mixture on top – it tastes and looks amazing!

You have a huge array of products – how do you come up with the flavours?

We grow most of the fruit and veg ourselves so it’s whatever we’ve got. It’s also about being experimental, understanding what flavours work together and pushing the boundaries a bit. We have over 70 chutneys, 30 jams and 30 marmalades and I’m always coming up with new products.

How many jars do you make a month?

On average it’s about 800 jars a month, all handmade in small batches by me!

What makes your products special?

I believe in the ethos of knowing where your food comes from and what goes into it. Everything we do is natural – we grown our own ingredients and use good old fashioned fertiliser – manure – and make our own compost. There’s nothing negative in our products. I use low sugar and low salt in my recipes too.

What do you recommend visitors should try at your stall?

If you like good old-fashioned lemon curd, you’ll love ours! It’s made the traditional way to my nan’s recipe and the lemons really zing. The apple chilli chutney is a good one to try – it’s really versatile and similar to a Branston pickle in many ways. But honestly, once you’ve tried the hot chilli jam, there’s no looking back!

**Don’t forget to claim 50p off a jar of Lishkins Preserves this month!**