Here I've used half wild Michigan blueberries and half cultivated, the former for flavor, the latter for bulk. I've loved blueberries from the times we picked them, years ago, wild in the bogs of Northern Wisconsin. But the flavor of blueberries, while complex, is not strong, and gets lost easily in the sugar of a jam. My goal here was to heighten the acid level with fruits that mirror its flavor--first Meyer lemon juice and zest, then some pineapple juice, a bit of my own Raspberry Champagne Jelly, my Galangal Root Syrup and a splash of fine cognac. The result is a thick, chunky, deeply purple jam whose supporting cast helps to celebrate the superb flavor profile of a blueberry.
Ingredients: blueberries, sugar, pineapple juice, Meyer lemon juice and zest, raspberries, galangal root syrup, cognac, pure citrus pectin.
Wildly interbred plums that birds have seeded behind my Marin County home provide a rainbow of fruit for jamming. It was a rare good year, and I blended them all. A good tart flavor left them wanting only a little lemon juice. This will always be a limited production. Don't be left out!
Ingredients: plums, cane sugar, Meyer lemon juice, pure citrus pectin, citrus scented geranium.
Wild Plum Jam: See it being made!
Though I enjoy the annual appearance of fresh figs, their extreme alkaline nature makes them difficult to jam without raising the acid level. Here I blend turkey and black mission figs from old trees in a friend's yard in Napa, California with Meyer lemon juice and zest, my Raspberry Champagne Jelly, fruit vinegar and a fine French cognac. Cinnamon, ginger and a fragrant rare blossom from China finish the job. Enjoy on toast, with cheese or meat.
Ingredients: figs, cane sugar, raspberries, cognac, lemons, vinegar, citrus pectin, spices.
Fig Jam: See it being made!
A grower sells me the overripe raspberries he must pick out before shipping, only the darkest, most flavorful fruit. I spend hours pressing them through a fine mesh screen by hand, leaving only the seeds behind. I combine the juice and pulp with less sugar and infuse this with my favorite champagne-scented geranium, rose geranium and a bit of fresh lime juice.
The result is more a velvety seedless jam than a jelly. Cooking this takes me back to picking wild raspberries at the farm with my Grandmother and helping to make the jam we would eat all winter. Vibrant, bright, perfumed, this is one of the finest products I have ever produced
Ingredients: raspberries, cane sugar, pure citrus pectin, lime juice.