Lillie O’Brien established London Borough of Jam in 2011, following four years as pastry chef at St John Bread & Wine in London. LBJ preserves are made in small batches, and cooked for a shorter time than generic brands, producing an honest, unadulterated flavour that is fruit-driven, rather than sugar-driven. They use natural, unrefined sugars and no commercial pectins.
The preserves combine seasonal fruits – sourced in the UK, France, Italy and Spain – with unusual additions such as bay leaf,cardamom, liquorice, and wild fennel pollen, which they believe enhance the fruit flavours and create natural, respectful combinations.
In 2013 Lillie set up a small shop in Clapton, East London, selling her preserves alongside other quality products, all sourced thoughtfully and imaginatively.
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 (Salted Mandarins, Seville Orange & Chamomile Marmalade)
Lillie creates recipes to be lingered over, that inspire and give confidence to be a little more adventurous in the preserving kitchen.
Praise for FIVE SEASONS OF JAM
'I'd love my shelves to be stocked with jars of pêche de vine and lemon jam, whitecurrant and lemon balm jelly, bergamot marmalade and cobnut and plum mincemeat, and enjoyed reading all the recipes with their intriguing and inviting flavour combinations.' Nigella Lawson
'Any day started with Lillie's jam is a good one.' Anna Jones
'A truly beautiful book. It is a delight to read and her recipes are excellent.' James Lowe, Lyles, London
'Lillie O'Brien and her wonderful preserves.' Claire Ptak, Violet Bakery