Rare Bird Preserves

Artisan Fruit Jams, Curds, and confections hello! theme by cissysaurus
It feels like every season is the busiest time of year for Rare Bird, but when October hits, we have lots to do to capture all the fall fruits and prepare for the holiday season. Never the less, we keep making time for our Black Label jams. We are so proud to present the 4th edition of our Black Label Series - Quince Maple Raisin. This jam is the brain child of assistant Krystal, yet another French Pastry School graduate assisting Rare Bird. She has a love for and a keen sense of balancing fall flavors. We were all excited by her idea of experimenting with Quince. Quince is a hard, astringent and sour fruit (our blisters from chopping tell the tale), but high in natural pectin. When added with sugar, this time maple sugar, it transforms into a beautiful, complex and fragrant jam. Krystal’s desire to incorporate dried fruit and raisins in particular, led us to complement this preserves texture with golden raisins. This jam is wonderful paired with warm steel cut oats in the morning or pork or duck in the evening. Quince Raisin Maple Preserve is limited, and available on our web store and at upcoming markets this weekend Williams Sonoma Oak Brook on Saturday and our last Logan Square Market this Sunday.

It feels like every season is the busiest time of year for Rare Bird, but when October hits, we have lots to do to capture all the fall fruits and prepare for the holiday season. Never the less, we keep making time for our Black Label jams. We are so proud to present the 4th edition of our Black Label Series - Quince Maple Raisin. This jam is the brain child of assistant Krystal, yet another French Pastry School graduate assisting Rare Bird. She has a love for and a keen sense of balancing fall flavors. We were all excited by her idea of experimenting with Quince. Quince is a hard, astringent and sour fruit (our blisters from chopping tell the tale), but high in natural pectin. When added with sugar, this time maple sugar, it transforms into a beautiful, complex and fragrant jam. Krystal’s desire to incorporate dried fruit and raisins in particular, led us to complement this preserves texture with golden raisins. This jam is wonderful paired with warm steel cut oats in the morning or pork or duck in the evening. Quince Raisin Maple Preserve is limited, and available on our web store and at upcoming markets this weekend Williams Sonoma Oak Brook on Saturday and our last Logan Square Market this Sunday.

Sweet and Savory with Fig Earl Grey Preserves

 With the rapidly approaching fall season, and the abundance of figs, we have been busy making our popular Fig Earl Grey preserves. Chopping, scaling, mixing, macerating, heating, steeping, stirring, skimming, pouring, and jarring our heads off! Although we work intensely, we try not to miss a few calm, relaxed moments of a communal meal. During this time we can share creative ideas and recipes that our jams inspire us to make.

Recently we experimented with two recipes which incorporate the Fig Earl Grey jam in different ways. One from veteran jam maker and newly appointed Kitchen Manager, Amy. Amy was inspired by this delicious way to incorporate fig preserves into an open-faced sandwich while looking through Real Simple magazine. We bought a fresh baguette and a small block of Gruyere from a local farmer’s market. Elizabeth had some fresh arugula from a recent trip to Michigan. We assembled and toasted the sandwiches for our staff lunch and they were a tasty hit!

The second recipe was contributed by the newest addition to our staff. Madeline is a graduate of the French Pastry School, and recently completed their internship program. She has a special interest in making traditional, as well as gluten-free pastries. Madeline whipped up all the components for her tarts at home and assembled them for us as a treat after lunch. Her seasonal Mascarpone Frangipane Tart topped with RBP Fig Earl Grey is the perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of tea on crisp, fall day.

Give these simple recipes a try and enjoy!

Real Simple recipe for Fig Jam and Gruyere Sandwiches

Recipe for Mascarpone Frangipane Tarts topped with Fig Earl Grey Preserves:

Follow this simple Pate Sucree recipe via Martha Stewart - Sweet Tart Dough or see below for Gluten-Free tart dough recipe.

Frangipane Filling:

7 Tbs unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 Tbs All Purpose Flour

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup ground almonds

Mascarpone Cream topping:

2 oz. heavy cream

4 oz. Mascarpone cheese

1 tsp. honey

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Other Ingredients:

 1pint Fresh, Sliced figs

1 jar RBP Fig Earl Grey Preserves

Directions:

Follow the instructions for Sweet Dough or Gluten-free dough. Let the dough rest for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator. Roll out and shape to desired tart sizes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Frangipane Filling:

In a stand or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very pale. Add eggs slowly, to incorporate into sugar/butter mixture. Add flour, vanilla, and ground almonds. Beat until smooth. Fill the bottoms of unbaked tart shells with the almond filling. Distribute the fresh, sliced figs evenly among the centers of the tart shells.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until pastry is crisp and frangipane filling is golden. Set aside to cool.

Mascarpone Cream topping:

Whip cream, mascarpone, vanilla, and honey until light and fluffy. Chill until ready to serve.

Assembly:

When ready to serve, spoon Mascarpone cream topping onto cooled tarts and smooth edges. Follow with a generous dollup of RBP Fig Earl Grey on top. (+ any fresh sliced figs you have left over) Gorgeous!

****Alternative Gluten Free Tart Dough

Ingredients:

2/3 c. rice flour

1/3 c. cornstarch

3 Tbs. cornmeal

1 Tbs. sweet rice flour

1/8 tsp. Salt

1 stock, cold unsalted butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

Directions:

Combine all dry ingredients in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture forms a coarse meal texture. Slowly add egg yolks until just combined. Form dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Summer 2012 is flying by! With farmer’s markets and full-on jam production, sometimes we feel we are missing the joys of summer, a walk by the lake or an ice cold beer. We decided it was well past due for a new Black Label Edition jam utilizing summer crops and a bit of inspiration.
To celebrate Trisha’s one year anniversary here at Rare Bird Preserves, she created a stunning new jam called the Summer Berry Shandy. This preserve was made with Seedling Farm’s blueberries, raspberries in combination with black currants. As a collaborative jam, this was RBP’s first mixed berry preserve, but a long time favorite flavor of Trisha’s. Her unique addition of beer added flavor and complexity. Ebel’s Weiss beer, from Two Brothers Brewery (Warrenville, IL), was exactly what she needed to balance the strong berries and classic citrus tones of a shandy.
We featured this jam at the last Dose Market in July. A very short run of 14 jars sold out right away! Due to the small first batch, we decided to do a Vol. 2, of which we have sold half the batch from pre-orders. We still have 24 jars left, which will be available on our web store at rarebirdpreserves.com and Logan Square Farmer’s Market this Sunday or as long as the jars last.
Come try this delicious preserve and savor the last weeks of summer.
(top photo courtesy of Nathan Michael)

Summer 2012 is flying by! With farmer’s markets and full-on jam production, sometimes we feel we are missing the joys of summer, a walk by the lake or an ice cold beer. We decided it was well past due for a new Black Label Edition jam utilizing summer crops and a bit of inspiration.

To celebrate Trisha’s one year anniversary here at Rare Bird Preserves, she created a stunning new jam called the Summer Berry Shandy. This preserve was made with Seedling Farm’s blueberries, raspberries in combination with black currants. As a collaborative jam, this was RBP’s first mixed berry preserve, but a long time favorite flavor of Trisha’s. Her unique addition of beer added flavor and complexity. Ebel’s Weiss beer, from Two Brothers Brewery (Warrenville, IL), was exactly what she needed to balance the strong berries and classic citrus tones of a shandy.

We featured this jam at the last Dose Market in July. A very short run of 14 jars sold out right away! Due to the small first batch, we decided to do a Vol. 2, of which we have sold half the batch from pre-orders. We still have 24 jars left, which will be available on our web store at rarebirdpreserves.com and Logan Square Farmer’s Market this Sunday or as long as the jars last.

Come try this delicious preserve and savor the last weeks of summer.

(top photo courtesy of Nathan Michael)