I'm off today for the holiday and so am lollygagging around the house. The dog and I both heard a delivery truck pull up moments ago and it got me wondering what I might have ordered recently. Then I remembered...June Taylor Jams! Eureka! I peeked out the window and saw the FedEx truck at the house next door. Hopes dashed.
Not three minutes later, I heard another delivery truck. The dog and I both looked out to see UPS in front of our house. That's more like it.
And so now, I am able to give you... June Taylor Jams. June Taylor's pear and vanilla fruit butter is one of the finest things I have ever tasted. The combination of smooth, grainy pearness delicately flavored with just the right amount of vanilla. On toast or biscuits, even just on a spoon, it is sublime. It is one of my top 10 desert island foods of all time.
June Taylor makes her conserves, marmalades, fruit butters and syrups by hand the old-fashioned way in Berkeley. She supports small, organic, family farms and use traditional preserving methods by hand to make small batches. She uses no commercial pectin -- instead utilizing citrus seeds and membranes to make pectin -- and only a minimal amount of sugar. This level of craftsmanship shines in the flavor of her products.
With pairings like silver lime and ginger, Meyer lemon and rosemary, apricot and almond, Santa Rosa plum and Provencal lavender, Seckel pear and ginger, strawberry and rose geranium... you see how this is not your supermarket Smuckers. This is pure fruit essence preserved in a jar, complimented with herbs and flowers.
I ordered my favorite pear and vanilla fruit butter, but also decided to experiment with blackberry and lemon verbena conserve, Astrachan apple and vanilla butter, and strawberry spearmint syrup. Blackberry is always my favorite jam flavor so that was easy, the apple made me think of apple bombolonis and the strawberry spearmint syrup sounded like the base of a great salad dressing.
June Taylor Jams are available in her shop in Berkeley or at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market. You can also order online from her site. She also teaches classes. The next classes are later this month and next month in marmalade making.
Now, to make some toast...