Jersey Black Butter Preserve
A rich and spicy apple preserve.
Jersey Black Butter has a strong provenance with the island of Jersey and is made using a traditional Jersey recipe, without any additives, using apples, cider, lemons, sugar, liquorice, mixed spice and cinnamon. The jammy conserve is a perfect breakfast/snack accompaniment in its own right, as a condiment and also can used as an ingredient in a wide range of recipes, for both sweet and savoury dishes.
This is a very old and traditional farm-house delicacy of Jersey, and the product is important not only in gastronomic terms, but as a constituent of the now declining, traditional rural culture of the Island.
Between 1600 and 1700, twenty percent of Jersey’s arable land was made up of orchards. Cider was made by farmers to give to their staff, making up part of their wages. A great tradition that exists as a result of Jersey’s proliferation of apples is the production of ‘black butter’ or ‘Le Niere Buerre’. Made from cider apples, the new cider is boiled over a fire for many hours - up to two days! When the cider is ‘reduced’ by half, apples, sugar, lemon, liquorice and spices are added. The mixture is continuously stirred with a wooden ‘rabot’ or paddle. Production of the butter is a very popular community event following each winter crop with traditional singing, dancing, storytelling and chatting going on into the early hours of the morning.