In A Jam
Summer fruits are delicious enough plucked from the tree, but L.A.’s top canners know that preserving brings out a whole new side of the season’s bounty. These fancy spreads work as well whisked into a sauce for meat or spooned onto a cheese plate
1. California Relish
Nancy Rowland’s chutney is a fresh take on a recipe her grandmother, a Hollywood caterer in the 1950s, once served for Doris Day. Tuck the strawberry-orange-apple mixture (there’s also a hint of tomatillo) into a grilled cheese sandwich. Calamity Jane would approve. » Available at Vicente Foods, 12027 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, 310-472-5215.
2. Blueberry Jam
Forbidden Fruit Orchards
Blueberry farmer Sandy Newman grows her organic fruit on 100 acres in Santa Barbara County. The cool nights and sun-drenched days lend the same nuances to her berries as they do to the region’s pinot noir grapes. In jam form the blueberries stand up to grilled pork—and a good pinot. » Available at farmers’ markets citywide.
3. Bacon Jam
Chicks with Knives
One could dismiss this product as another gimmick that panders to our primordial bacon cravings. But caramelized onions add a soft, round sweetness that’s convinced us the jam from Rachael Narins and Suzanne Griswold will outlast the pork fat fad. Slather it on sandwiches, layer some in a tart, or sneak a spoonful right from the jar. » Available at Surfas, 8777 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310-559-4770.
4. Santa Rosa Plum with Flowering thyme
Honeybees while away the hours among thyme blossoms for good reason. The aromatic blooms signal that the herb’s flavor is still delicate and sweet. For her signature preparation, Jessica Koslow pairs the purple flowers with prized Santa Rosa plums. Inhale and imagine the panna cotta possibilities. » Available at Sqirl, 720 N. Virgil Ave., Silver Lake, 213-394-6526.
5. Tomato with Vanilla Beans
Lemon Bird Handmade Jams
As the backbones of salsas and rich sauces, tomatoes spend much of the summer alongside garlic, onions, and fiery jalapeños. But when Amy Deaver teams the fruit with whole Madagascar vanilla beans, the acidic pulp mellows into the perfect addition to goat cheese crostini. » Available at Atwater Village Farm, 3224 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, 323-660-8888.