Sing Summer with Jam!

 Hurry and catch Rachel before she leaves for the summer
with our Jam 101 Class in Oakland!

Sunday, June 16th

Jars waiting to be filled!

Jars waiting to be filled!

In this 4-hour introductory class, Rachel takes you through the jam-making process from start to finish, with a special focus on seasonal fruits. We will cook four different jams, including at least one multiple-fruit jam. Our focus will be on identifying the physical properties of different fruits and understanding how these properties affect both the cooking process and the end result. We will examine key topics such as the role of sugar, the importance of lemon juice and how to add it, the states of cooking, and how to test accurately for doneness. This class starts with an hour-long jam tasting and discussion, then proceeds to the cooking process.

Tea, dessert, and a light dinner will be provided, and you will receive four small jars of jam to take home!

Throw An Apple At Us…

In Ancient Greece, hurling an apple at someone was a symbolic declaration of your love. If your would-be paramour caught the apple, it was a sure sign of requited romance.

Well, we’ve been catching heirloom apples by the barrel, and we want to pitch the pomaceous love at you! Sign up for Rachel’s apple butter and jelly class in the State Bird Provisions series to catch a parcel of pippins.

Summer Jam Intensive

Class Topic: The Versatile Apple: We will explore the many uses of the apple, and answer questions like: Why are apples so important to jam making? What is jelly and how is it made? What is fruit butter and how is it made? Learn how to add spices and liquor to preserves just in time for cozy autumn.

Date & Time: Sunday, 8/26; 10am – noon. Classes are primarily demo-style, but may incorporate a minimal amount of hands-on work.

Location: State Bird Provisions, 1529 Fillmore Street between Geary & O’Farrell (415-795-1272)

Cost and materials: $105 per class. Each student takes home 2 jars of jam, plus handouts. Snacks and tea/coffee provided.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to delve into fruit butters, jellies, and jams with one of the country’s foremost jam experts!

Click to sign up!

San Francisco Jam Class Series

Summer Jam Intensive

Would you like an opportunity to learn about different fruits, flavors, and techniques for jam making? Rachel’s four-week class at State Bird Provisions takes you through 8 different jams from start to finish. Don’t miss this special opportunity to delve into jam with one of the country’s foremost jam experts!

Dates and times: 8/5, 8/12, 8/26, and 9/2; 10am – noon. Classes are mainly demo-style, but may incorporate a small amount of hands-on work. We recommend signing up for the whole series as classes build upon each other, but you may sign up for individual classes if you prefer.

Location: State Bird Provisions 1529 Fillmore St., between Geary & O’Farrell (Phone: 415-795-1272)

Cost and materials: $105 per class or $385 for the series. Students each take home 2 jars of jam per class, plus handouts from each class session. Snacks and tea/coffee provided.

Class Topics:

Day 1: Intro to Jam Making (8/5): SOLD OUT What jam is and how is it made, the cooking process, testing for doneness, the jarring process, how to vary the sugar and lemon juice quantities, and how the preparation of the raw fruit affects both the cooking process and the end result.
Day 2: Tomato Jam (8/12): SOLD OUT Rachel will show you how to make one of Blue Chair Fruit’s most popular flavors: tomato jam. We will also learn how to successfully incorporate a secondary fruit into a pre-existing recipe and how to add herbs to a finished jam.
Day 3: The Versatile Apple (8/26): We will explore the different uses of apples. Topics include why apples are such an important fruit in jam making, what jelly is and how to make it, what fruit butter is and how to make it, and how to add spices and liquor to preserves.
Day 4: Flavor Construction (9/2): We will construct two original jam flavors as a class, focusing on incorporating additional fruits and flavors. We will learn how to build complexity while maintaining balance of flavor and texture, with a full range of spices, herbs, and liqueurs to choose from!

Click to sign up!

Thanksgiving Jam Making 101

We’re so excited to offer a Thanksgiving-themed Jam Making 101 class again this year! This class gives students an opportunity to explore fruits and accent flavors that are perfect with a Thanksgiving feast.

Click here to sign up for this four-hour introductory jam-making class. This popular class will be Blue Chair Fruit’s last jam-making class of the season, so reserve your spot now!

Featured Foodie: Rachel!

Click the image for the full article, including our Olallieberry Jam recipe!

Meet Rachel at Tyler Florence!

Bourbon-Pecan Doughnuts

The Blue Chair Fruit team is so excited to participate in a recipe swap hosted by Christianna of Burwell General Store. Kate met Christianna at BlogHer Food in May; proof that the world is indeed small, Christianna had worked on the FoodCrafters episode featuring Blue Chair Fruit! She kindly invited us to participate in her monthly recipe swap, and we gladly accepted.

This month’s recipe was Potato Donuts, for which Rachel developed a Bourbon-Pecan Doughnut recipe. Here’s Rachel’s take on her recipe development:

I am crazy about doughnuts and was hence extremely excited to discover that this month’s Recipe Swap selection was an old-fashioned classic: Potato Doughnuts. Upon researching potato doughnuts a bit further in my eclectic cookbook collection, I realized that this doughnut nearly always follows a set proportion of ingredients and tends to be a bit on the sweet side. Since I love bourbon in my baked goods, I decided to transform this classic recipe into a salty-sweet version, studded with toasted pecans and flavored with fresh nutmeg. It is really delicious, especially with some dark steaming coffee on the side.

These doughnuts are a true delight: redolent of Southern sensibilities, they offer a comforting pastry with a subtle twist. Needless to say, the whole team has enjoyed snacking on Rachel’s delicious results! As for jam pairing? Well, these doughnuts are downright tasty with a bit of Red Raspberry & Rhubarb Jam.

Read the rest of this entry »

James Beard Award and NCIBA Nominations

What a great week at the Blue Chair Fruit headquarters! The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook has received a nod from the James Beard Foundation, nominated for Best Photography! To say this is a big deal would be a dramatic understatement. We’ve got our fingers crossed for May, and feel more appreciative than ever of Sara Remington‘s beautiful photography!

The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook is also a finalist for an NCIBA award, for Best Food Writing! We are forever grateful to the independent bookstores and booksellers who have supported us and the cookbook, and are deeply moved at this nomination. These people really know their books, and their support is a high honor indeed.

We’re on cloud nine over here! We’ve come to feel like this cookbook is our baby, and we’re so darn proud at all the success it’s achieving out in the world!

Marmalade 101 Class Pictures

Our first marmalade class of the year went swimmingly. Thank you so much to all our enthusiastic students! We had a great time, and we hope you did too.

For a peek inside a BCF Marmalade class, you can see our full class album on Facebook! If you would like to learn how to make marmalade with us, we still have classes available on February 13, March 6, and March 13.

Blue Chair Fruit Makes Your Marmalade!

Have you ever this thought?: “Wow, I have this great idea for marmalade, but making marmalade can be a little time-consuming and expensive. Too bad I can’t have a marmalade expert make it for me…”

WELL, you are in luck!

We are pleased to announce Blue Chair Fruit’s first annual marmalade contest!

Here’s how it works:

  • You send us your fantastic idea for a marmalade flavor at We do request that the fruit(s) you suggest be readily available from local organic growers in the SF Bay area. Please put “Marmalade Contest” in the title of your email so we make sure it gets to the right place. Note: This does not need to be a complete recipe, but merely a flavor suggestion. Submissions must be received no later than Monday, January 31, 2011.
  • We will read each and every submission, confer with our resident marmalade expert Rachel Saunders, and make a decision. We will announce the winning flavor and its creator on Monday, February 7, 2011. We will make our decision based on which flavor we anticipate to be most delicious.
  • We’ll notify you, and get to work! Fruit availability will dictate when we actually produce the winning flavor, but it will be sometime in winter of this year.
  • Once we’ve created the delicious winning flavor, we’ll send you 2 jars of your creation to enjoy! We will be sure to give you credit as the flavor’s creator, and the flavor will go up for sale on our website.

Doesn’t that sound exciting?! We can’t wait to see what you have to offer!

Important reminders: Email your submission to with “Marmalade Contest” in the title of your email. Please include your real full name in your submission so we can credit you. Your submission must be received by Monday, January 31, 2011. You may submit as many flavor ideas as you like. The winner of this contest has full bragging rights to their creation, but no legal rights to the flavor Blue Chair Fruit creates.