Mrs Berry, aka Reiko Akabebe

Reiko Akabebe, known throughout Japan as “Mrs. Berry”, has been making marmalades, preserves and jams for over 30 years, and launched her company commercially in 2005, selling her “Mrs. Berry” brand across the country.

Reiko is the leading preserve teacher in Japan and a double gold winner at the Dalemain World Marmalade Awards.

Here she presents a simple wholefruit Japanese-style low-sugar recipe for a sweet Valencia orange preserve, with a rich full flavour like you’d find in the best compotes, and especially good as it’s low sugar and keeps a very fresh taste to it.

Japanese preserves are often very low in sugar compared to typical jams and marmalades found around the word, so they need to be bottled and sealed at a high temperature in sterilised bottles, then once open stored in the refrigerator. If you’re making them to sell make sure your label is correct according where you plan to sell them.

You can find out more about Mrs. Berry on her website (in Japanese)

Mrs Berry’s book on Preserves & Afternoon Teas

Mrs Berry’s Preserving Book

Mrs Berry’s Complete Book on Jams, Jellies & Syrups

Mrs Berry’s Valencia Orange Preserve recipe:

makes approx 3-4 x 150ml jars

500g valencia oranges
250g granulated sugar
50ml fresh lemon juice
optional: orange liqueur 5ml
オレンジ 500g
グラニュー糖 250g
レモン果汁 50ml
リキュール 5ml

Choose unblemished firm organic oranges

1. Choose sweet oranges with a firm texture and an unblemished skin (I use a sweet Valencia orange grown in Wakayama Prefecture)

Cut the peel away from the orange flesh

2. Cut the peel away from the flesh, as you would peel an apple.

Slice the peel thinly

3. Slice the peel to a thickness of about 1.5 mm (it gets slightly thicker when cooked)

Wash the peel to help reduce bitterness

4. I wash it well with running water (and to reduce any bitterness, blanch it once and discard the water)

Remove the pith and pips from the orange segments

5. Remove seeds and thin skin from the flesh and cut into segments
果肉を取ります 種や薄皮を除きます

Put the peel and flesh in a saucepan

6. Put chopped peel and flesh into a saucepan

Add half the sugar and the lemon juice

7. Add half the granulated sugar plus the lemon juice

Stir it with a spoon

8. Stir it with a wooden spoon and simmer it gently until the peel is very tender and translucent, between one to three hours depending on the quantity and the peel characteristics.

Let it simmer

9. Simmer over a very low heat (the aroma will also be delicious).

Add the remaining sugar, to taste, gradually

10. Next, add the remaining granulated sugar in two or three parts, while check that the sweetness suits your taste (I measure the sugar content with a refractometer). Add the liqueur at the very end.

Bottle it while very hot

11. Bottle it while very hot.

Simmer the tightly sealed jars in water (the canning method)

12. Screw the lid on tightly. Put the jars in a pan of hot water and simmer to sterilise everything for 5 minutes.
フタをしっかり締め ビンがかぶる位のお湯に入れ煮沸したら火を弱め 5分間煮沸殺菌します

12. Lift the jars out carefully and leave to cool before storing.