Review: Highfield Preserves

Highfield Preserves create a range of jams, chutneys, jellies, mustards and marmalades using their finest recipes, ingredients and high standards.  They don't use any artificial ingredients, but are enhanced with honesty and generations of food making tradition.  They have won countless awards for their products, making the thought of trying them out that much more enticing!

Highfields started in 1984 on the family aga in Jennifer Fraser's household in Devon.  Since then the reins have been passed down the family to her son, Don, and the company now resides in a purpose built premises on the outskirts of Tiverton.  The company now employs 10 people and creates over 2500 jars a day! They have 40 different varieties and constantly trying to create more.  They have won many regional and national awards.

I got the opportunity to try 4 of their amazing flavours, Mild Chilli Chutney, Herb Mustard and Balsamic Vinegar, Caramelised Onion Chutney and Apple Mint with Cider Jelly.  I wanted to try and use them in different ways to make sure I got the best out of their flavour.

Herb Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar- Award Winner

I decided to eat this with some cheese in a hearty door stopper sandwich.  Not the most imaginative of
creations, but effective none the less!  The wholegrain mustard flavour is one that I loved mixing with cheese.  This is a mustard with a difference though as it has the rich, sweet and yet acidic taste of the balsamic as well as the mixture of herbs. While I think that this flavour worked perfectly with the rich mature taste of the cheese, I think that if you mixed this with a bit of oil and brown sugar it would make a delicious dressing for a salad. Overall a delicious balance between the mustard herb and balsamic flavours. 

Caramelised Onion Chutney - Award Winner

I wanted to try something a little different with this. Again the sweetness of the caramelised onions would work well with a mature cheddar cheese.  I tried this by toasting a ciabatta roll, and then adding cheese and grilling it until the cheese was melted and bubbling. While that was cooking I cooked up some mushrooms in butter, garlic and pepper to put on the top. I served with a salad and it was delicious. The natural sweetness of the onions worked so well with the cheese.  This would be the perfect addition to a cheese ploughmans, or to serve on a cheese board at Christmas. Or even just as a side to any cheese toast or sandwich, A definite thumbs up from me. 

 Apple & Mint with Cider Jelly

I was very excited about trying this one.  I love a mint sauce and thought that the addition of apple and cider could only be an improvement, and I was right! For this I made homemade lamb burgers and just melted the jelly over the top (As recommended by Highfields!)  I used lamb mince and added garlic and rosemary and molded it into a burger shape.  I grilled them on my George Foreman grill and served with homemade double fried chunky chips.  The jelly is delicious, perfect balance between the mint, apple and cider bringing a new dimension to your everyday mint sauce.  It worked so incredibly well with the lamb.   My other half and I were undecided what meat to serve this Christmas, but tasting this sauce has confirmed that we will be tucking into lamb with plenty of this jelly on the side to top it off perfectly.  Thanks Highfield for helping us with our decision!

Mild Chilli Chutney

Highfield recommended that this is a good match with goats cheese.  I decided to try it out with a grilled goats cheese salad. This beautifully sweet yet tangy flavour worked so amazingly well with the creamy grilled goats cheese, making a perfect combination and balance between sweet and savoury.  Absolutely delicious, and I made an extra salad to take to work with me tomorrow! Gorgeous flavour that will also work in a sandwich or panini, or as a side. 

I loved the different chutneys and mustard that I tried and will absolutely be using them again. The mint, apple and cider will take centre place on my christmas dinner table, and my lunches will be that much more delicious with the use of the other chutneys and mustards.  I can't wait to try their varieties of jams, with the Champagne and Strawberry being the next on my list with a homemade cream tea

You can find Highfields online here
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