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Commercial Jams, Jellies, and Preserves


SobaAddict70
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I second the Trappist Preserves. You can order them online if your local stores don't carry them http://www.monasterygreetings.com/product/Trappist_Preserves-Single_Flavor_Cases/Trappist_Preserves_Single_Flavor_Cases

Their apricot and peach I especially liked.

Also, Trader Joe's Cherry Preserves. Fantastic. Although I tended to have it on ice cream more than on toast. Or just straight out of the bottle. :)

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Interestingly, the regular Smuckers have high fructose corn syrup. The Simply Fruit and Orchard Finest do not.

For some reason, it never dawned on me to try Trappist or St. Dalfour's -- I will right away.

Thank you for all the suggestions.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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LindaK, I dearly love lemon curd on things like pound cake that was lightly buttered abd toasted in the toaster oven. The Simply Fruit brand of jams is quite good (I hope I have the name correct!) It used to be advertised as 'spreadable fruit', but I haven't seen the ads for a while. The blueberry is excellent, as is the seedless raspberry and the peach.

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Interestingly, the regular Smuckers have high fructose corn syrup. The Simply Fruit and Orchard Finest do not.

Good to know. Smuckers used to have a low-sugar apricot preserve that was my all-time favorite--then they changed the recipe, I think by using a sugar substitute to keep it low-sugar but noneless make it very sweet. Disgusting. I will try these to see if either resembles my old favorite.

And Sylvia, I can't believe I haven't tried the Trappist apricot yet, thanks for the recommendation.


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I'd also like to know what folks like in the way of commercial orange marmalades. After trying a bunch, I think I like Smucker's best -- don't like the overly bitter ones.

Have you tried Keiller & Son's orange marmalade? I like the bitter ones best, and always bought Keiller, and didn't think marmalade got any better, but within the last few years, they've changed a few things. It no longer comes in that classic white jar. And it's gotten a lot sweeter. So much so that I've stopped buying it.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Hero . . . another fairly common brand I haven't paid enough attention to. They don't use high fructose corn syrup and they have a new line called Delicia that has more fruit and less sugar.

Also interesting flavors like red currant, quince, plum, rosehip and gooseberry . . .

I'll give that a try. They don't seem to have seedless versions, though.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Hero . . . another fairly common brand I haven't paid enough attention to. They don't use high fructose corn syrup and they have a new line called Delicia that has more fruit and less sugar.

Also interesting flavors like red currant, quince, plum, rosehip and gooseberry . . .

I'll give that a try. They don't seem to have seedless versions, though.

Yes, Hero is generally pretty good.

Still haven't found a quince jam, though, that isn't achingly sweet and tastes of nothing but sugar.

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Hero . . . another fairly common brand I haven't paid enough attention to. They don't use high fructose corn syrup and they have a new line called Delicia that has more fruit and less sugar.

Also interesting flavors like red currant, quince, plum, rosehip and gooseberry . . .

I'll give that a try. They don't seem to have seedless versions, though.

Yes, Hero is generally pretty good.

Still haven't found a quince jam, though, that isn't achingly sweet and tastes of nothing but sugar.

I've made quince jam that turned out way too sweet and I modified it by re-cooking it and adding some strong Lapsang Souchong tea to give it a smoky flavor and the tea itself cuts the sweetness.

I haven't tried it myself but a friend, after tasting my smoky version, cooked a batch with Earl Grey tea, brewing the tea double strength and says the tea really cuts the sweetness considerably.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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.....

I have to add that if you want something really special, and don't mind the shipping costs, the jams made by the Baer company in Wyoming, are superior to others I have tried, although I haven't tried them all.

I have the Red (tart) Cherry jam, the Dark (sweet) cherry jam and the Chokecherry jam.

I have an unopened jar of the Jalapeño Pepper Jam.

I ordered these on the recommendation of a friend who has a B&B in Cheyenne and serves these to her guests.

Checked out their site. All look great, but I am particularly intrigued by their Traffic Jam.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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If quality is your issue, as in "this is good enough to give my kids", you can't buy preserves with more integrity than Pim's. Small batch, extraordinarily well sourced produce, and a perfectionist at the stove. Cannot buy better.

Someone else I trust and have bought lots from is Eva Gates on Flathead Lake in Montana. Amazing wild hucklebery jam. FYI, blackcap is like a blackberry. Also, sigh, amazing.

eGullet member #80.

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Hmmm . . . Chez Pim Bouquet des Fleurs Marmalade . . . must try . . .

Black Cap = Black Raspberry . . .

I tried Trader Joe's Cherry Preserves last night. I am thinking this is too sweet, but I would use this, drained, in place of candied cherries in a fruitcake.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 months later...

I've just discovered the Cortas brand of jellies and jams. They're made in Lebanon. The apricot is the best I've ever had by far, with large pieces of apricot. Heavenly with cheese and crackers.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I really like Sarabeth's preserves, though I refuse to pay Williams-Sonoma prices for them. A Homestyle, if you have one near you, is the absolutely best retailer if you want great jams/preserves that don't cost fourteen bucks a jar.They have a terrific variety for about half the regular retail value.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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  • 4 years later...

I love making jams, but also love checking out the "competition". So I like doing a little bit of industrial espionage and see what craft jams are all about.

I found this article in Serious Eats about the best jams and preserves in the US and decided to try a few using this as a guide. Of course this is just an article, so maybe there is something better out there that isn't mentioned in the article.

 

I was all excited when I found a jar of Blue Chair bergamot marmalade at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes, so I grabbed it. They had other flavors but that one intrigued me the most (I love a good marmalade and they are very time-consuming to make).

 

Blue chair bergamot marmalade

 

Blue chair bergamot jam

 

Here is what it looks like on their website, a light and bright orange color. And in real-life it is rather dark brown (it doesn't look so bad on toast, but in the jar it's really super dark). The color is off, maybe this was an older batch? And the taste - not caramelized yet bitter as I am used to, but actually quite sour and not that nuanced. Not much of that unique bergamot taste that I love in Earl Grey or bergamot candies. There were surprising consistencies issues with the peel too, with a few giant pieces in there. At $13 for a 6 oz jar, I was expecting something a bit better... Next! :)

 

Blue Chair bergamot marmalade

 

 

 

Edited by FrogPrincesse
Jar size (log)
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Next up was Robert Lambert Pear Ginger jam. I picked this one based on the interesting mix of flavors:

 

Quote

To amplify the subtle flavor of pear I first brew an infusion of Chardonnay wine, pear nectar, Meyer lemon juice and Champagne vinegar with Mexican cinnamon, vanilla beans, cardamom pods, lemon verbena, champagne geranium and dried pears. This base joins grated ripe Bartlett pears, brown sugar, Meyer lemon zest, Pear William eau-de-vie, young ginger juice and my own Membrillo and Candied Young Ginger.

 

So texture-wise, it doesn't really look like jam but rather like a thick opaque jelly. I suppose the pear is pureed because there are no pieces of fruit in there. It's really heavy in pectin and doesn't flow at all. Taste-wise, it is ok, like a very spiced pear flavor with undertones of vinegar. I prefer flavors that accent rather than flavors that almost mask the fruit, so this wasn't quite to my liking... Maybe I should have picked a different flavor!

 

Robert Lambert pear ginger jam

 

Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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Here is one that doesn't suck... finally. Inna jam Blenheim apricot. It's as good as a homemade jam. The essence of the ripe fruit, perfect consistency with large pieces of fruit, a slight tartness, not too sweet.

 

Apricot jam comparison

 

Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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I love apricot jam so I also tried the Blenheim apricot from the company called Jam, which happens to be their signature jam. That one was thicker and darker, probably cooked longer than the Inna jam, and was also noticeable more sweet. The fruit was broken down into a puree. I didn't enjoy it as much as the Inna apricot.

Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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4 hours ago, FrogPrincesse said:

 

I was all excited when I found a jar of Blue Chair bergamot marmalade at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes, so I grabbed it.

 

If you're in the Bay Area, check out emmy's jam. They're by far the best jam I've had. Frog Hollow is also pretty good and also easier to find. Inna is solid and probably my 3rd favorite local jam.

Edited by Shalmanese (log)

PS: I am a guy.

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17 hours ago, Shalmanese said:

 

If you're in the Bay Area, check out emmy's jam. They're by far the best jam I've had. Frog Hollow is also pretty good and also easier to find. Inna is solid and probably my 3rd favorite local jam.

 

Thank you for the recommendation. I haven't heard of emmy's jam so I'm adding them to the list.

 

Frog Hollow, meh. I sampled their jams (including the apricot) at the ferry building. The texture put me off - very large pieces of fruit in syrup essentially. I know Ferber does some of her recipes that way, but it's not my preference. I love Frog Hollow's fruit and fruit tarts though! These are fabulous.

Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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