BREADBAR Jam Session

Chef Los Angeles

BREADBAR chef Rogelio Marhx and colleague Daniela Galarza led the jam session.

BREADBAR Santa Monica hosted a “Jam Session” on March 14, featuring an intro by stone fruit and tangerine farmer Debbie Quail and kitchen demo with Chef Rogelio Marhx and Daniela Galarza. They told the assembled masses how to make vanilla kumquat marmalade, strawberry rosemary rhubarb jam and gingered apple butter, focusing on ingredients that are either peaking or coming into season. No matter what time of year, Galarza encouraged classmates to “preserve the season” by canning fruits and vegetables.

Jam Los Angeles

Farmer Debbie Quail contributed stone fruit and tangerine to BREADBAR jars.

Quail has been farming since age 12, when she helped her grandfather grow tomatoes. She currently farms 100 acres near Fresno and works 15 farmers’ markets around L.A., including Sunday in Hollywood. Her farm’s certified organic and currently grows Mandarins. In six weeks, she plans to harvest peaches, apricots and nectarines. Quail discussed her passion for farmers’ markets, saying, “I love being at the farmers’ markets because it’s a personal, intimate setting…The grocery store is horrible. It’s gassed or picked 10 days too early…We’ve found our niche because we provide quality.”

Jam Los Angeles

Apple butter had been cooking since morning. Chef Marhx recommended Fuji apples since they’re sweet and don’t need sugar.

It’s just apples, ginger and a little bit of honey. Marhx suggested clover or buckwheat. Start by making applesauce. The pectin will reduce down and become jelly. Peels have pectin. When using citrus, remove the seeds or the marmalade becomes bitter.

The most tedious part of producing kumquat marmalade: de-seeding. Galarza made a recommendation: “Bring two friends and a lot of gossip.” Boil, discard, boil, discard, boil, then strain kumquats. To create volume, add sugar using a 10:7 fruit to sugar ratio. If you’re using 10 pounds of fruit, use 7 pounds of sugar. You boil to leech away bitterness.

With oranges, boil and discard 7 times. The sweeter the fruit, the less boiling. For blood oranges, boil and discard 3-4 times.

Add flourishes like lavender, rosewater or Szechuan peppercorn at the end. Rogelio: “If you feel it, just do it. If it doesn’t taste good, don’t do it again.”

The day’s final lesson of the day involving food safety. So canners can avoid botulism, it’s important to disinfect the jar for 10 minutes at 180 degrees, prior to canning. When jarring marmalade, tap it to remove air bubbles. Tighten the lid “fingerprint tight” to create a seal, then boil the jars for 7-10 more minutes. One attendee told tales of finding their grandparents’ canned jams. If the seal is still there, theoretically it might be edible, but Galarza and Marhx recommended limiting the shelf life to one year.

Here are the day’s full recipes, courtesy of Chef Rogelio Marhx:

5 lb. organic Fuji apples, peeled and cored
10 oz. water
8 oz. ginger, peeled
5 oz. lemon juice
8 oz. honey

1) Combine fruit and water in a heavy saucepan. Place ginger in cheese cloth and tie up. Add to saucepan. Simmer until apples cooked through.
2) Add lemon juice
3) Bring mixture to a low boil
4) Simmer until cooked down by ¼
5) Remove ginger
6) Add honey
7) Jar while hot or let cool at room temperature and place in reusable containers in refrigerator for 1 month

Yields about six 8 oz. mason jars or about 2.5 pints of jam.

Jam Los Angeles

Vanilla kumquat marmalade captured the season and paired well with BREADBAR’s signature product.

5 lb. kumquats, sliced and seeded
1 vanilla bean
4 lb. sugar

1) In a heavy-bottomed pot bring 5 qts. water to a rolling boil. Add kumquats. Blanch. Drain. Repeat twice more.
2) In a heavy-bottomed pot add blanched fruit, split vanilla bean, sugar and enough water t ocover.
3) Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
4) Boil until mixture thickens.
5) Pour into hot jars, leaving 12 inch of headspace between lid and top of jar.

Yields about 24 8 oz. mason jars or about 10 pints of jam.

Jam Los Angeles

BREADBAR found jam balance with strawberry, rosemary, and rhubarb.

5 lb. strawberries, without stems
1 lb. rhubarb, chopped
5 lb. sugar
Grated zest of 3 Meyer lemons
5 oz. bottled organic lemon juice

1) Combine fruit, sugar and lemon zest in a heavy sauce pan. Mash berries and rhubarb with potato masher or slotted spoon. Simmer until sugar dissolves.
2) Add lemon juice
3) Bring mixture to a boil
4) Cook until conserve reaches 220F or is thick enough to completely coat a spoon.
5) Jar while hot or let cool at room temperature and place in reusable containers in refrigerator for 1 month.

Yields about 12 8 oz. mason jars or about 5 pints of jam.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

I found very informative. The article is professionally written and I feel like the author knows the subject very well. keep it that way.

I went to this too. I just killed my jar or Strawberry Rhubarb Rosemary this morning at breakfast. Delicious. The vanilla kumquat was also quite tasty and exotic.

That’s a funny coincidence. My favorite was definitely the vanilla kumquat marmalade. Our complimentary jar lasted less than a day.

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