Stock Up: 3 Southern jams to try right now

Peach ginger jam from Southern Keep. CONTRIBUTED BY ELLEN DUTTON
Peach ginger jam from Southern Keep. CONTRIBUTED BY ELLEN DUTTON

Credit: Ellen Dutton

Credit: Ellen Dutton

Time to put the strawberry jam away and go for some more interesting flavors from Southern makers.

Peach ginger jam from Southern Keep

Chef Trey Dutton is the owner of Southern Keep, a maker of small-batch pickles and preserves in Charleston, South Carolina. We caught up with him in mid-July, when peaches were just coming into season, and he was preparing a batch of his peach ginger jam. We’ve heard this jam described as peach cobbler without the work, and we have to agree. You only wish your cobbler tasted this delicious. The jam’s spoonable consistency immediately made us want to pour it over ice cream, and we’ve enjoyed it on sourdough toast, as the “dressing” for some fruit salad, and, as we scraped the last from the jar, a glaze for some smoked pork hot off the cooker. Just enough peach, just enough ginger, not too sweet, we found it worked in both sweet and savory dishes. Don’t delay in making your purchase. When this seasonal offering is gone, it’s gone until next year’s peaches come in.

$10 per 10-ounce jar. Available at southernkeep.com.

Creole tomato jelly from Congaree and Penn. CONTRIBUTED BY CONGAREE AND PENN
Creole tomato jelly from Congaree and Penn. CONTRIBUTED BY CONGAREE AND PENN

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

Creole tomato jelly from Congaree and Penn

Scott and Lindsay Meyer run Congaree and Penn Farms and Mills in Jacksonville, Florida, as a farm and agritourism destination. We were introduced to them because they grow rice on their 220-acre farm, but they also offer lots of activities, including dining, goat hikes, canine field days, sunset wagon rides and you-pick for their muscadines and arbequina olives — everything done in a manner that allows for plenty of social distancing. In their shop, you’ll find their rice, but also pecan oil they press from Georgia pecans, shrubs, and a half dozen varieties of jam and jelly. We tried Creole tomato jelly, made from Louisiana Creole tomatoes, black pepper, sassafras and sugar. Their website offers a recipe for shortbread bars; we substituted tomato jelly for the Johnny Appleseed jelly it calls for, and we loved the result.

$12 per 8-ounce jar. Available at congareeandpenn.com.

Scaly Dragon jam from Becca’s Jams & Jellies. CONTRIBUTED BY REBECCA GALATE
Scaly Dragon jam from Becca’s Jams & Jellies. CONTRIBUTED BY REBECCA GALATE

Credit: Rebecca Galate

Credit: Rebecca Galate

Scaly Dragon jam from Becca’s Jams & Jellies

Rebecca Galate of Carrollton has been making jams and jellies for more than 41 years. Her repertoire includes classics, such as peach, blueberry and fig, but what caught our eye was the flavors she makes from exotic produce, like dragon fruit. Galate said she loves to experiment, and she’s delighted others are excited about trying something different. Scaly Dragon is made from dragon fruit, pomegranate, raspberry, hibiscus, orange peel, chamomile and sugar, but not too much. It has little bits of dragon fruit seeds (soft, not at all crunchy) and a wonderful floral flavor from the mix of fruits. Galate’s jams can be used for everything from breakfast to dessert. Her other ideas include using them in the vinaigrette for a salad, or adding them to your favorite salsa. Sorry, we just spooned ours up, right from the jar.

$5.61 per 8-ounce jar. Available at the Cotton Mill Farmers Market in Carrollton and at beccasjams.com; only shipped within the state of Georgia.

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