One of the things we love about our Featured Jam series is the opportunity to honor the work of our favorite makers who capture the seasonal bounties of their regions while maintaining important traditions of canning and preserving. Converting her love of jam-making into a business, Stephanie McClenny started Confituras in 2010 as a way to distill all the fresh bounty that Austin’s farmers markets had to offer. Since its founding, Confituras has been embraced by its local community and gained national attention, winning multiple awards including several Good Food Awards (2011, 2012, 2014 & 2015) and a Southern Living Food Award in 2016. Stephanie is now ready to embark on the next stage of her business, and plans to open Confituras Little Kitchen later this year, a brick & mortar community kitchen and jam & biscuit shop in Austin, TX. The community kitchen will give Stephanie a space to teach traditional jam-making and canning. It will also function as an incubator for small food businesses offering a sliding scale commissary kitchen space and pro-bono business services, further cultivating community in the Austin food scene.
We are thrilled to showcase Confituras Ginger Pear Preserves as our November 2017 Featured Jam. The Asian-type Kieffer pears that form the base of this jam are prized in the South for their tolerance to heat and blight. In fact, they are so tenacious that abandoned homesteads in Central Texas remain studded with the trees despite their lack of ongoing cultivation. “We love their scrappy nature!’ adds Stephanie.
Slow cooked in traditional copper pots, the preserves merge the crisp quality of these special pears with the warmth of fresh ginger to create a flavor that is both light and robust. Candied ginger adds an extra bite of sweetness balanced with the tart touch of organic South Texas lime. It beautifully complements the roasted quality of our nut butters, standing up to the rich flavor of the nuts without overpowering them. We especially love it paired with our Almond Coconut or Peanut Butter slathered on homemade Belgian waffles.