Welcome to a new series we're starting out, called Small Batch, Big Batch. As you may have figured out, the idea is to focus on one (very specific) type of ingredient or treat and then highlight our two favorites: one from a small maker and one from a bigger company (whose goods are more readily available).
First up: apricot jam. Spread the stuff on toast or muffins, use it in a sauce, or plop a spoonful on top of a bowl of ice cream.
Small Batch: We Love Jam Blenheim Apricot Jam, $10 for 9 ounces
When our editors were curating the list of products for Kitchn 100 (the 100 groceries we can't live without), we briefly discussed some sort of grape jelly and then quickly decided to highlight this small-batch jam. It's made with rare Blenheim apricots, which are actually on Slow Food USA's list of foods facing extinction.
The founders of We Love Jam make this apricot jam in attempts to keep these trees (and farmers!) going in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Fun fact: Neither of the jam makers even liked apricot jam when they started making it and now they love it. "This is summer in a jar, smooth and a little runny, more like clotted fruit honey than jam," says Editor-in-Chief Faith Durand. "If you're craving a bit of sunshine, pick up a jar of this stuff."
Big Batch: Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves, $5 for 13 ounces
Okay, technically, this is a preserve and not a jam. What's the difference? "Preserves are made from cooking whole fruits. Preserves feature a fuller fruit flavor compared to jams," explains the Bonne Maman website. Whereas jams are made from "crushed fruit and fruit purée, not whole fruit. Bonne Maman does not make jams." We get it, Bonne Maman, but we just had to include your French jar in this story.
It's so good that, when our friends at Bon Appétit did a taste test of all the Bonne Maman flavors, apricot took the top spot. "It's the Goldilocks of jams: not too soft, not too chunky, just right," the taste test result stated (even though the article clearly points out that the brand makes preserves and not jams, further proving our point that this stuff just had to be included).
Do you have a favorite apricot jam that's not mentioned? Tell us about it in the comments below!