Yorkshire food producers join forces to create unique products
PUBLISHED: 00:00 11 September 2014
Partnerships among local food producers are an exciting way of taking new ideas to market, as Esther Leach reports
Sharing ideas is a great business strategy especially in tough times when innovation becomes more important than ever. So it was useful to learn about the new partnership between award-winning Rosebud Preserves and the unusually forward thinking monks at Ampleforth Abbey. What between them could they create to tempt us?
‘When I first tasted Ampleforth’s products I was so impressed with the flavours,’ said Elspeth Biltoft, owner of Rosebud Preserves. ‘The Premium cider was particularly special, both in flavour and aroma. I had never tasted anything quite like it before.
‘When the team and I were looking for a way to celebrate our 25th anniversary, our admiration was such that collaboration with Ampleforth made perfect sense. All that was needed was to persuade them to join us.’ She did and together they have produced a range of celebratory sweet and savoury preserves.
‘The development stage was such an enjoyable experience because the Ampleforth products made it easy to create a range to be proud of,’ said Elspeth. ‘The unique freshness that the cider brought to the marmalade was truly amazing, as was the depth of flavour given to the chutney from the beer. The addition of their cider brandy to our pear jam took this preserve to another level.’
Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire is famous for its orchard of about 2,000 trees with more than 40 varieties of apples, some of which are used to make the bestselling Ampleforth Abbey Cider and its Cider Brandy. The abbey also started selling Ampleforth Abbey Beer in 2012, based on a 17th century Belgian Trappist style recipe. The beer is brewed in partnership with the local Little Valley Brewery.
The monks’ innovation and forward thinking has turned the orchard and 2,000 acres of grounds into a successful commercial enterprise which supports their community and charity work.
Fr Terence said of their new partnership with Masham-based Rosebud Preserves: ‘It’s been very satisfying to work with a fellow Yorkshire company and we’re really pleased with what Elspeth and the Rosebud team have developed. We never knew our beer and cider could be so versatile. These preserves will be an excellent addition to our food and drink ranges.’
Elspeth, who started Rosebud Preserves in 1989, uses local produce whenever possible. She follows traditional recipes using no additives, preservatives or pectin. Much of her inspiration comes from the Wensleydale countryside.
‘I can’t imagine coming to work and not being able to look out on to the beautiful countryside that is around us,’ she said. ‘I know how lucky we are to be here.’
Meanwhile three other well known food and drink businesses in North Yorkshire have come together to launch an exclusive new ice cream. SLOEmotion, Brymor Dairy and Hunters of Helmsley have created Sloe Gin Truffle ice cream – a national if not world first, they claim. The luxury ice cream is made using a vanilla base with whole Guernsey milk from Brymor’s own herd of cows at Masham, ripples of sloe fruit ganache and crunchy dark chocolate chips.
Chris and Christine Garnett, owners of Hunters of Helmsley, a delicatessen on the edge of the North York Moors, are exclusive stockists of the new ice cream. Chris said: ‘We work very closely with local producers, and sourcing the best products locally is very important to us. We have worked with both Brymor and SLOEmotion, who are based in a village between York and Malton, for many years now, and we felt there was the opportunity to create something really special. We can sell thousands of ice creams over the course of a busy summer weekend, and we like to be able to offer our customers something a little bit different. The flavour is absolutely delicious, and so indulgent – strictly one for adults only though.’
Jonathan Curtoys, managing director at SLOEmotion, said it was always a pleasure to partner up with other local companies who shared his love of great food and drink. ‘As we are the only producers of sloe gin chocolate truffles on the planet, I believe that this is definitely the only flavour of its kind being produced commercially,’ said Jonathan. ‘Instead of throwing the fruit away after making sloe gin we de-stone it and then use it to make a range of chutneys and a ganache for different truffle chocolates - so the thought of using it for ice cream seemed quite natural. The ice cream has a rich, creamy, indulgent taste with the plumy, almost dry edge of SLOE gin and sloe fruit, and finished with a pleasant chocolate crunch. Delicious.’
Robert Moore, who runs the family business at Brymor, said they liked to experiment with different flavours, and had been great fun working with SLOEmotion products. ‘When alcohol is added to ice cream it affects its freezing temperature, so we had to consider how best to introduce the sloe gin, but as we have added it to the ganache which is then rippled through, it’s worked really well and the end result tastes really indulgent. If it proves as popular over the summer as we suspect it will, we will consider making it a permanent addition to our menu.’
The 25th anniversary range
We know readers like to know the detail of what’s in their food
Beer Fruit Chutney
A deep, dark and thick fruit chutney that contains plums, dried fruits, allspice and the unique Ampleforth Abbey Beer. Delicious with Wensleydale and Farmhouse Cheddar. The beer, used to flavour the chutney, is prepared with hops and barley, then double fermented for strength and a ‘champagne-like’ sparkle, very similar to the recipe first used by the monks in 1608.
Dried fruits (prunes, dates, apricots) 36% (sulphites), cider vinegar, onions, unrefined sugar, plums, sea salt, all spice, Ampleforth Abbey Beer 1% (barley), cayenne pepper.
A classic coarse cut, robust marmalade made with Seville oranges given a refreshing lift with the addition of Ampleforth Abbey Premium Cider. The cider used in this sweet preserve is made from apples grown in the Abbey’s orchards and has matured for approximately six months in the traditional manner.
Unrefined sugar, water, Seville oranges, Ampleforth Abbey Premium Cider 3%, fresh lemon juice, coriander seed. Prepared with 33g of fruit per 100g.
Brandy & Pear Jam
The freshness of English pears enriched and warmed with the addition of Ampleforth Cider Brandy. Naturally set with unrefined sugar. The Cider Brandy is made from apples grown in the Abbey’s orchards and then matured in oak barrels for five years. Traditional monastic skills and modern technology ensure the highest standard of distillation.
Fresh pears 92%, unrefined sugar, water, Bramley apples, fresh lemon juice, Ampleforth Abbey Cider Brandy 2%, Ampleforth Abbey Premium Cider 1.5%. Prepared with 110g of fruit per 100g.
Total sugar content 57g per 100g.