Siblings preserve family honour in national competition

Charlotte Foster, eight, and brother Christopher Foster, 10
Charlotte Foster, eight, and brother Christopher Foster, 10
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Champion marmalade makers have been named the best in the country at a national competition.

Brother and sister team Christopher and Charlotte Foster, from Stanwick, were awarded the prize for the best children’s marmalade after gaining perfect scores in the World’s Original Dalemain Marmalade Awards held in Cumbria.

Christopher, 10, also won the children’s literary category with his story of Paddington and the Hot and Spicy Marmalade Dragon, which was judged by Paddington author Michael Bond.

Mum Sue said: “It’s a huge competition. There were more than 2,000 jars of marmalade entered across all the categories.

“They entered four jars: Seville with ginger, apricot and brandy, blood orange and cider and a blood orange marmalade called Blushing Blood, which won.

“They make all their own labels too and the judging is very strict. There are marks knocked off if there are bubbles or a label is not on straight.

“They got 20/20 scores and their marmalade was described by the judges as perfect in every way.”

Christopher said: “I don’t really have a favourite marmalade. We have been using it to make cheesecake, as a glaze with pork chops, a filling in pancakes and we made marmalade cake.”

The siblings, along with brother Bishop Stopford School pupil Matthew, 12, have won several previous awards for their speciality marmalades.

They began making jams when Sue started a WI group in Stanwick. She learned how to make jam but burned the first pan she made.

She said: “Matthew does it all very scientifically.

“I am not such a perfectionist but they are all very good at it. There’s no stopping them really.

“I’m extremely proud of them.”

Christopher, a Stanwick Primary pupil along with Charlotte, eight, also won the Real Jam Festival in 2011.

The family has also now been asked to write a blog on their jam-making exploits for preserve company McKays, who run the Jammy Bakers blog site.

Teamwork

Christopher and Charlotte design the labels for their preserves and have experimented with gooseberry jam, which Christopher said was “annoying” as it wouldn’t set, as well as marmalade with their grandad’s home brew cider in it.

Their marmalade takes two days to make with the preparation of the fruit taking one day and the cooking another.