It's the Jam

Squirreling away California's best fruit

Preserving has become quite the second act for Angelenos. A fashion magazine editor, a punk rocker and, most recently, an American Idol producer have all been enchanted by bubbling pots of fruit and sugar.

The Idol veteran is Jessica Koslow, who just launched her company, SQIRL, last month. Armed with pastry skills acquired while cooking at Atlanta's Bacchanalia and a geeky love of her native California's produce, Koslow is off to a fine start with her array of winter citrus offerings.

Made with fruit predominantly from Rancho del Sol Organics, SQIRL citrus preserves are each made over a few days, using a process that involves no added water or commercial pectin. The result is a softly textured preserve that's less "jellified," as the SQIRL labels state, than its grocery counterparts.

Koslow is adventurous in varietals: Limequats, mandarinquats, yuzu and Moro blood oranges are all used in SQIRL preserves. But if variety is celebrated in fruit, a measured hand rules over other added flavors. Touches of Ceylon cinnamon and chile de árbol add warmth to mandarinquat marmalade (pictured; $16), while an intensely berry-like Moro jelly finishes on a mildly bitter note thanks to the glug of Campari added to the preserving pan ($10).

SQIRL preserves are available at Proof Bakery, DomaineLA, Venokado, @WPHeirloomLA, and online; sqirlla.com