Otter Vale Preserves

Located near Cullompton in mid-Devon, wherever possible we source all our ingredients locally to support other local producers and reduce environmental impact.

We peel all our onions by hand, making sure only the best flesh goes through to the cooking process.

The onions and fruit are chopped up in oversized food processors which allow us to process about 8lbs of onions at a time.

We check to make sure that the pieces aren’t too big or blended too small to become like a puree – it’s a bit like Goldilocks, they have to be ‘just right’.

We have two gas fired cooking pots, one of approximately 50 litres and another of approximately 100 litres.

The onions are added to the pots with vinegar and the pots are ‘lit’. After some time sugar is added, with a small amount of salt when the recipe requires it.

Next, the fruit is added before the pot is allowed to heat up and cook the contents. When it reaches the prerequisite temperature, then spices, modified starch and some more vinegar are added.

This is when the real work begins as we carefully stir the contents constantly to prevent the chutney ‘sticking’ and burning the pot.

When the chutney has thickened up we pour it into jars. Until very recently this was all done using a litre jug and a funnel, really doing it all by hand!

We still pour many of our products this way, but we did forego tradition when we received an order for 30,000 of our small jars!! To preserve the health of our teams’ backs, which were constantly bending and straightening to pour the chutney, we bought a filling machine. This enabled us to fill all our small jars a lot more easily, cleanly and accurately.

Marmalade, piccalilli, salsa, Coronation sauce, mincemeat, relishes and jellies and catering tubs are all still hand-filled.

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Posted on 08 Nov 2018 by MinE Team

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