Producer of Preserves, Jams, Chutneys and Curds made using traditional cooking methods
Jams and jellies, curds, coulis and chutneys – just some of the delicious products that are made in the Crossogue Preserves kitchen in Thurles in Co Tipperary. But, as owner Veronica Molloy says, it’s a long way from kitchens that she was born. Having been born and raised in Kenya, where it was usual to have servants, she was very unused to kitchens. However, on marrying Tony Molloy in 1967, she moved to Ireland where the Crossogue kitchen turned out to be a whole new experience for her. She was lucky enough to have a wonderful mother-in-law who taught her everything she needed to know, including family recipes for delicious homemade preserves. Over the years while she raised six children, making jams was more or less a hobby and she sold in local shops and country markets.
But this hobby has now turned into an award-winning enterprise. The original basement kitchen of the Georgian House is where Veronica used the old family recipes, some of them having come down through the generations, to make products that are consistently top class. There is, of course, very good reason for this. Everything is made in small batches, exactly as you or I would in our own kitchens. Six pounds of fruit is used at a time so there is no large-scale production. It’s obvious that the highest quality ingredients combined with traditional cooking, without using any artificial colourings, preservatives or flavourings, gives a product that is not only unique but has a distinctive flavour.
It’s a very labour intensive process but one that’s well worth it. This year alone, Crossogue Preserves has won three Great Taste awards: their Quince Chilly Jelly won a "2 Gold Star Award", their Apricot, Pear and Grand Marnier Jam won a "1 Gold Star Award" and their Red Pepper Chilly Chutney won a "1 Gold Star Award".
With a nucleus of fruit growing on their own farm, most of the remainder and the vegetables come from producers who grow especially for Crossogue, with blackcurrants coming from fellow Good Food Ireland Member, Mr Jeffares Blackcurrants. Seville oranges, lemons and other citrus fruit is imported from Spain due to our climate restrictions, but they remain carefully sourced.
As well as the usual range of preserves, there’s also an unusual apricot and almond, pear and walnut, gooseberry and elderflower and marrow and ginger. If you prefer your jam with a bit of a kick, you could try apricot and brandy or the award-winning blackcurrant and Irish stout. Marmalades include lime and brandy and Irish whiskey. There’s a good range of jellies and Veronica is now about to produce a parsley jelly, perfect for fish.
Chutneys make an ideal partner for so many foods and Crossogue’s range has a very unusual fig and apple and a beetroot. Curds include the usual lemon but there’s a wonderful Irish Coffee – and check out their website for a delicious cheesecake recipe using this product. There’s also a recipe for Coronation Sauce for turkey and a sinful dessert using Crossogue brandy butter. And you can also save time at Christmas by stocking up on other festive goodies – cranberry port sauce and brandy mince.
Crossogue make to order for many of their clients allowing for consistency throughout the year and reducing the need to hold large amounts on site.
Following a fire in 2010 when much of the original house, including the kitchen, was destroyed, Veronica moved production to a new, specially designed kitchen in what was originally a large garage. This allows for better streamlining and easier working. The Crossogue products are found in most leading specialist gourmet food stores and delicatessens around Ireland, including most of our own Good Food Ireland Members. In conjunction with Bewley’s importers, the products are now exported to niche stores in the USA and speciality shops in Finland and Brussels.