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The jam explosion
Jeffery Cross

The jam explosion

Nothing really beats fresh fruit captured at its peak of ripeness and slathered on a piece of buttery toast. With a focus on heirloom fruits, small-batch recipes, and local, local, local (often the fruit comes from the yard out back), the jams here blow our minds. Grab a spoon.

June Taylor Company, Berkeley. The grand dame of small-batch jams, Taylor seeks out heir­loom and forgotten fruits. From $13; junetaylorjams.com

Hurley Farms, Napa. Its Royal Blenheim apricot preserves and Sun Grand nectarine jam are sunshine on a spoon. $6.75; hurleyfarms.com

Ayers Creek Farm, Gaston, OR. The Ayers Creek family crafts small-batch jams using only fresh fruit, lemon juice, and a touch of sugar. The logan­berry is a must. $7; 503/985-0177.

Ellelle Kitchen, Pasadena, CA. We love the fun, delicious jam combos like Backyard Grapefruit with Campari or Two Berry with Lavender. $14; ellellekitchen.com

INNA, Berkeley. Pure jam perfection—the ideal spoonable texture (between runny and firm) and not too sweet. Try the Seascape strawberry jam. $12; innajam.com

The Girl & The Fig, Sonoma. The to-die-for black Mission fig jam is made with fruit picked at its peak, cooked with sugar and a touch of cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg. $6.75; thegirlandthefig.com

Aravaipa Farms, Aravaipa Canyon, AZ. Apricots from the owner’s own sun-drenched orchard are turned into glorious preserves, using an old French recipe. $8.50; aravaipafarms.com

Blue Chair Fruit, Oakland. Made with local organic fruit in small batches, its seasonal flavors, like Adriatic fig, are simply transcendent. $12; bluechairfruit.com

Big Spoon Jam, Seattle. Small batches of blackberries and honey from the Northwest. $15; bigspoonjam.com

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