Plus, this is one maker story that is near and dear to Mouth's heart. Jam-maker Miranda Rake made her first batch of jam to solve an age-old problem: too much ripe fruit! The plum tree in her mother's backyard produced a bumper crop (hence "Plum Tree Jam"), but as much fun as it was, Miranda had a long way to go before she'd realize her destiny as a professional preserver.
In 2009 she moved to NYC to start NYU's Masters in Food Studies program, and in 2012, she was the second hire at a very small start-up, now known as Mouth.com. We like to think that Miranda's days writing about small batch makers like Laena McCarthy of Anarchy in a Jar and Sabrina Valle and Jessica Quon of The Jam Stand played a small role in germinating that jam seed within. She and her now husband moved back to Portland (closer to mom), and the rest is history.
It's hard to pick favorites, but we find ourselves all but licking the jar of Miranda's Marionberry Jam clean. Marionberries are native to Oregon, where they were born of a lucky cross between Olallieberry and Chehalem blackberries. Miranda keeps sugar to a minimum, letting the natural sweetness of the berries shine, so her jam has a loose texture studded with pieces of whole berry.
Excellent for topping toast, oatmeal, yogurt or waffles, Miranda’s jam is also our sidekick in some savory applications. Try a spoonful or two into a pan sauce to drizzle over seared duck breast.
Here’s a party trick: Spread the top of a wheel of brie with Marionberry Jam, wrap in pastry dough and bake for 30 minutes in a 350° oven.
Jam on, Miranda. Jam on.