Crossogue Preserves

by Kristin on June 29, 2011

Strawberry and champagne. Blackcurrant and Irish stout. Gooseberry and elderflower. Connemara Irish whiskey heather marmalade. They might only be the names of jams, but to me it practically sounds like poetry. They’re also just some of the 80+ products made by hand by Crossogue Preserves.

Veronica Molloy came to making preserves in a roundabout way. Born and raised in Kenya, she then trained as a nurse in England. It was her marriage to her husband, Tony, in 1967 that brought her to Ireland and to Crossogue House, which her husband inherited from a bachelor uncle. When they first moved there it was a mixed farm. Tony milked cows and sheep, they had many different crops, including sugar beet, and a walled garden with lots of fruit trees (these days, Crossogue House is an equestrian centre run by Veronica’s son). That garden would be the key to what would become Veronica’s business, Crossogue Preserves. Faced with such abundance from her own garden, Veronica’s mother-in-law, Nancy, taught her how to make preserves, and to this day, any new products are still based on those basic family recipes handed down through the generations.

“It all began by accident really,” Veronica says. “Having a large vegetable and fruit garden and six children, I began to make preserves at home and sell them at the local country markets. I won some prizes for my preserves and then local shops started showing an interest in purchasing my product. It snowballed from there.”

Veronica now has five employees, but her jams, jellies, chutneys, curds and marmalade are all still made by hand in small batches of twenty jars. Making things in such small quantities is important to Veronica, as she believes that when you start making batches in the hundreds of jars, you sacrifice taste. This dedication to quality has paid off — Crossogue Preserves has won numerous awards and is the supplier of preserves to the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Powerscourt, County Wicklow.

Photo courtesy of Crossogue Preserves

Just as Veronica’s mother-in-law taught her how to make preserves, Veronica travelled to Tanzania in 2007 and again in 2009 as part of a group of 40 with the Playing for Life charity, where she in turn taught 14 women to preserve the fruits and vegetables that were in season there at the time, such as mangoes, passion fruit, pineapple, bananas, tomatoes and chillies. “I have been getting great reports that the Tanzanian women are still happily making and selling their preserves,” she says.

You can find Crossogue Preserves in all the Avoca, Kilkenny Design and Butler’s Pantry shops as well as select gift shops, victuallers and delicatessens around Ireland, including over 20 outlets in County Tipperary. You can also check their website or keep up with them on Facebook for updates of food festivals or events they’ll be at around the country. They also supply the US, Brussels and Finland and are currently looking into the UK market.

Crossogue Preserves
Crossogue House
Ballycahill
Thurles
County Tipperary
+353 504 54416
www.crossoguepreserves.com

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula Ryan June 29, 2011 at 7:46 am

What a lovely story! How nice to have given such a great valuable resource to the Tanzanian ladies! Am definitely going to look up to see where I can get some of the preserves. Am intrigued by the Irish coffee curd!

Reply

Kristin June 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Paula, when you find where to get the Irish coffee curd, don’t make the same mistake I did – be sure to buy a few jars, not just one! I’m raging that I didn’t stock up when I had the chance.

Reply

Gillian June 29, 2011 at 9:51 am

The Blackcurrant & Guinness gets my vote!!

Reply

Kristin June 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Gillian, the hardest part about getting several jars of her jam on Saturday was deciding which one to open first! The blackcurrant and Irish stout is such a unique combination, isn’t it?

Reply

SnailinAle June 29, 2011 at 10:31 am

A wonderful idea heading to Tanzania to pass on her knowledge to help others, really admirable. The combinations sound delicious, especially looking forward to picking up some Strawberry and Champagne preserve. Mmmm.

Reply

Kristin June 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Jams don’t get any classier than strawberry and champagne, do they?

Reply

SnailinAle June 30, 2011 at 9:49 am

No siree Bob, next we’ll have caviar infused bread to smear it on ;)

Reply

Sheila Kiely June 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Great to hear the story behind the jar Kristin. I had the pleasure of meeting Veronica at Totally Tipperary and her passion for what she does positively shines. I will be making the Irish Coffe Curd Cheesecake that you demo’d with Crossogue Preserves Irish Coffee Curd tonight for a celebration tomorrow. (Celebrating the end of school lunch boxes for 2 months:) )

Reply

Kristin June 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Shelia, that is definitely something worth celebrating – and if I feel that way only having one little school lunch to make, I can’t imagine the relief of not having to make six!

Reply

Eadaoin July 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Ahh Crossogue, I know their preserves well being from the nearby village of Holycross! Their Strawberry and Champagne jam is my most favourite in the world, it’s so delicious and sweet. It’s so lovely reading these posts on fellow Tipperary folk :)

Reply

Kristin July 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm

If you’re from Holycross, then do you know about The Tipperary Kitchen and their amazing chocolate biscuit cake? I got some at Bloom and it really is the best in Ireland, just like they say it is.

Reply

sheelagh October 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Enjoyed watching nationwide
last night Monday 21st October , was wondering if you produced some Crab Apple Jelly as I find it very difficult to find anywhere —- many thanks Sheelagh Scott Cobb Co Cork

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: