Five Seasons of Jam by Lillie O’Brien

Lillie O’Brien began her culinary career as a pastry chef working for Fergus Henderson. After five years at St. John Bread and Wine, she opened her own shop London Borough of Jam in 2011. Lillie’s preserves are made in small batches, and cooked for a shorter time rather than generic brands, producing an honest, unadulterated flavour that is fruit-driven, rather than sugar-driven. Her debut cookbook Five Seasons of Jam shares her recipes and her passion for jam perfection.   

Jam cannot be rushed. These preserving recipes may be short on the page, but they’re designed to stretch time, from when you first find and organize the ingredients, to when you stir the pot slowly and lovingly, then spread it on toast, and take the first magical bite.

These innovative recipes, bubbling with fruit, nuts, herbs and spices, are separated into 5 seasons:

  • ALIVE/spring- blossoming florals and awakenings (Peach & Fig leaf Jam, Salted Cherry Blossom, Wild Garlic Pesto)
  • HOT/summer – vivid sweetness (Nectarine & Thyme Jam, Strawberry & Wild Fennel Jam, Pickled Walnuts)
  • BLUSH/early autumn – smoky warmth and rich spice (Blackberry & Cocoa Nib Jam, Elderberry & Pomegranate Molasses, Tomato Jam, Marjoram Jelly)
  • BARB/late autumn – robust and bristling (Pear & Masala Jam, Pumpkin Jam, Damson Cheese)
  • FROST/winter – biting, dark and cosy (Preserved Lemons, Seville Orange & Chamomile Marmalade)

This title is packed with gorgeous photographs and very approachable recipes. Special thanks to Kyle Books for sharing the following recipes with our members as well providing three copies of this book in our giveaway below. Please note that the kindle version of this book is on sale right now on US Amazon and Amazon CA,.


Spring: Gariguette strawberry & white balsamic jam
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Hailing from south France, the Gariguette strawberry has a beautiful perfume-like smell that will take your jam to the next level. Lillie suggests serving this jam with goats’ milk yogurt.

  • 1.2kg Gariguette strawberries
  • 800g caster sugar
  • 100ml white balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of pink sea salt

1. Hull the strawberries and cut them in half. I like to keep them in halves so that you still have largish pieces when the jam is cooked.

2. Put the strawberries in a preserving pan and set over a low heat so that they start cooking and release some juice.

3. Slowly add the sugar, vinegar and salt and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the jam reaches setting point, 105°C/220°F on a sugar thermometer.

4. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that the natural pectin is distributed evenly. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool dark place.

Summer: Blackcurrant & almond jam
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Currants can be quite acidic. We love that Lillie added in not only sweet sugar, but smooth, fatty almonds to round out the tangy flavor of this summer jam.

Makes 7 x 220g jars

  • 1.2kg blackcurrants (you can include the leaves if you have some)
  • 700g caster sugar
  • 200g whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • juice of 1 lemon

1. To prepare blackcurrants, gently wash them and remove any large stalks or brown leaves, but leave in any green leaves as they are very flavoursome and will add lots more depth to the jam.

2. Gently strain off any excess water and put the blackcurrants and any of their leaves (roughly torn) in a heavy-based saucepan with the scraped vanilla pod and seeds. Set over a low heat and cook until the fruit starts to break down, then add the sugar, almonds and lemon juice and slowly bring to the boil. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the jam reaches setting point, 105°C/220°F on a sugar thermometer. Because blackcurrants are high in pectin this jam doesn’t take long to cook so keep an eye on it. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool dark place.

Winter: Apple & rosé wine jelly
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With some wine in the mix, this apple jelly is truly special and a great addition to a cheese board.

Makes 5 x 220g jars

  • 1.2kg Granny Smith apples
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 1.8 litres water
  • 270ml rosé wine
  • 1.2kg caster sugar

1. Wash the fruit and slice the unpeeled apples and lemon into quarters, then slice each one in half. Put in a heavy-based saucepan with the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 45 minutes.

2. Add the wine, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for a further 20 minutes. (Keeping the lid on means the alcohol won’t evaporate.)

3. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth suspended over a bowl overnight. Don’t squeeze the bag as it will make the jelly cloudy.

4. The following day, discard the pulp (put in your compost) and measure the strained liquid. You should end up with approx. 1.3 litres of liquid.

5. Pour the liquid into a preserving pan, add the sugar and slowly bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes, until the jelly reaches setting point, 105°C/220°F on a sugar thermometer. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool dark place.


Play around with adding any leftover alcohol you may have hanging around. You could try a herby vermouth, which would pair perfectly with the tart apples and sugar.

Five Seasons of Jam by Lillie O’Brien © 2018 Kyle Books, photographs © Elena Heatherwick.



The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and UK. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on January 24th, 2019.

Post a comment


  • Dannausc  on  December 8, 2018

    Salted cherry blossom

  • amyz218  on  December 8, 2018

    Rhubarb and green cardamom jam

  • Karla123  on  December 8, 2018

    Pear and Marsala jam sounds divine!

  • laffersk  on  December 8, 2018

    Raspberry & liquorice jam

  • mefarquhar  on  December 8, 2018

    Peach & Fig Leaf Jam

  • AlexH  on  December 8, 2018

    Poached ruby quinces!

  • leilx  on  December 9, 2018

    Blackberry and cocoa bib jam!

  • riley  on  December 9, 2018

    Roasted yellow peach and fennel jam

  • camerashy131  on  December 9, 2018

    Rhubarb, pistachio & orange blossom jam sounds unusual and delicious

  • matag  on  December 9, 2018

    Black cherry & kirsch jam

  • demomcook  on  December 9, 2018

    Pear & Marsala jam

  • jason0389  on  December 9, 2018

    Raspberry & liquorice jam sounds intriguing

  • lean1  on  December 9, 2018

    Peach and Fig Leaf Jam

  • Brancica  on  December 9, 2018

    I’d make dnd of the blush season jams

  • eatysmith  on  December 9, 2018

    Gariguette strawberry & white balsamic jam!

  • Floramaven  on  December 9, 2018

    Persimmon Saffron and Vanilla jam

  • sarahawker  on  December 10, 2018

    Cherry & black pepper jam

  • kmn4  on  December 10, 2018

    Fig & Earl Grey jam

  • jnstewart  on  December 10, 2018

    Clementine & fino jam: 'upside down Christmas'

  • thecharlah  on  December 11, 2018

    Medlar & rosemary jelly

  • tennyogirl  on  December 13, 2018

    Nectarine & Thyme Jam

  • t.t  on  December 15, 2018

    Fallen apple malted butter

  • punktshittake  on  December 15, 2018

    Rhubarb and green cardamom jam

  • dtremit  on  December 15, 2018

    Blood nectarine and sea salt jam…if I can find them!

  • MiMi60  on  December 15, 2018

    I would like to try the Peach & fig leaf jam.

  • ravensfan  on  December 15, 2018

    Cherry & black pepper jam

  • RSW  on  December 17, 2018

    Cherry blossom syrup

  • kbennall  on  December 18, 2018

    Yellow nectarine and Flowering Thyme Jam

  • LaurenE  on  December 19, 2018

    Pear & Marsala jam

  • elsid22  on  December 22, 2018

    roasted yellow peach and fennel jam!

  • ktowle  on  December 24, 2018

    Peach and Fig leaf jam

  • annieski  on  December 26, 2018

    Peach & fig leaf jam

  • kitchenclimbers  on  December 26, 2018

    cherry blossom syrup

  • allthatsleftarethecrumbs  on  December 26, 2018

    Pear & Marsala jam

  • percussion03  on  December 28, 2018

    Tayberry and cherry blossom jam

  • artthecat  on  December 29, 2018

    Fallen apple malted butter

  • lselke  on  December 29, 2018

    I'd have to try the fig and Earl Grey jam.

  • JJWong  on  December 30, 2018

    I'm new at jam making. My sister influenced me to start so I'd love to win this book so we make jams with pear & marsala!

  • BMeyer  on  December 30, 2018

    blackberry and cocoa nib

  • ghill  on  January 1, 2019

    Tomato Jam, is so versatile and in the middle of winter reminds me of summer.

  • Karen.2018  on  January 1, 2019

    This sounds great: Cherry & black pepper jam

  • Shelley.b  on  January 1, 2019

    Raspberry and licorice jam

  • Lisasa  on  January 1, 2019

    Cherry and black pepper jam

  • banba1  on  January 1, 2019

    Blackcurrant & almond jam

  • Sfgordon  on  January 2, 2019

    Blackberry & cocoa nib jam

  • popoff  on  January 2, 2019

    Pear & Marsala jam

  • PQPantry  on  January 2, 2019

    Tomato jam love this on sandwiches

  • amylou61  on  January 3, 2019

    Fig & Earl Grey jam

  • Ishtar  on  January 3, 2019

    Poached ruby quinces

  • tarae1204  on  January 3, 2019

    Raspberry & liquorice jam

  • Lauramh  on  January 5, 2019

    Blackcurrant and almond–never heard of using the leaves before!

  • ebs  on  January 5, 2019

    Fig & Earl Grey jam

  • Livia  on  January 6, 2019

    Peach & fig leaf jam sounds delicious !

  • lgroom  on  January 8, 2019

    Tomato jam

  • Nrshelley  on  January 8, 2019

    Blood nectarine and sea salt jam

  • cmartinfirvida  on  January 8, 2019

    Cherry Blossom Syrup! We have TONS of cherry blossoms in the spring!

  • lgroom  on  January 8, 2019

    Roasted peach and fennel jam

  • Amandaspamanda  on  January 11, 2019

    Rhubarb, pistachio & orange blossom jam – Time to try something new with the rhubarb in my yard!

  • brigs03  on  January 11, 2019

    Black currant and almond jam, I am a sucker for anything almond.

  • Sallyquilts  on  January 11, 2019

    With our gorgeous California strawberries I’d make the strawberry and white balsamic jam!

  • stepspior  on  January 11, 2019

    Strawberry & wild fennel pollen jam

  • melissamcd  on  January 11, 2019

    Peach and Fig leaf jam. I'll have lots of them on the trees

  • daddeoco  on  January 11, 2019

    Apple & rosé wine jelly

  • Ruthdigs  on  January 12, 2019

    Oh where to start with so many intriguing and gorgeous sounding recipes to try! I love foraging and already make my own wild garlic pesto but the gorse flower syrup sounds lovely. I think it would have to be the pink grapefruit and smoked sea salt marmalade first though. Sounds completely divine!
    (Whilst I'm waiting to see if I win however, I will be making the blackcurrant and almond jam recipe with the huge tub of blackcurrants in the freezer from my sisters allotment. Awesome!)

  • jrogers  on  January 12, 2019

    Medjool date and chestnut jam sounds intriguing

  • chasteph  on  January 12, 2019

    Nectarine and thyme for me.

  • Chef4CFF  on  January 12, 2019

    Preserved anything Have done lemons, limes, blood oranges and kumquats

  • leilx  on  January 12, 2019

    Cherry black pepper. Roasted yellow peach and fennel. Wow.

  • mrscahughes  on  January 12, 2019

    blood orange

  • paulbing  on  January 13, 2019

    blackcurrant and almond jam

  • Emmydee  on  January 13, 2019

    Raspberry and liquorice jam

  • PeavineBlues  on  January 13, 2019

    Apricot-ginger marmalade

  • RickPearson54  on  January 14, 2019

    Tomato jam

  • size_27  on  January 14, 2019

    Morello cherry & pistachio jam

  • silversand  on  January 16, 2019

    Rhubarb, pistachio & orange blossom jam

  • edyenicole  on  January 17, 2019

    apple malted butter!!!

  • gden  on  January 17, 2019

    Wild Garlic Pesto

  • agreaves19  on  January 18, 2019

    Blackcurrant & almond jam

  • clairew137  on  January 18, 2019

    Blackcurrant & almond jam

  • Lmocooks  on  January 18, 2019

    Peach & fig leaf jam

  • lovelily1001  on  January 18, 2019

    elderflower and lovage bubbles!

  • mikazo  on  January 19, 2019

    Kumquat & Brandy Marmalade

  • Cookingfun  on  January 21, 2019

    Blood nectarine & sea salt jam

  • starzine  on  January 23, 2019

    Loganberry & candied angelica jam.

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!