By Kristina Sepetys

Lisa Donohue at the SF Ferry Building last winter, where she won a Good Food Award. Photos courtesy of Mimi's Confitures.

Lisa Donohue at the SF Ferry Building last winter, where she won a Good Food Award. Photos courtesy of Mimi’s Confitures.

mimi2These jars of chunky, luscious goodness will do double-duty for you over the holidays, as a delicious ingredient for easy appetizers or a wonderful gift. Bay Area-based jam maker Lisa Donohue, who named Mimi’s Confitures for her maternal grandmother, creates these handcrafted chutneys and jams from local ingredients. Her Onion Jam, a 2014 Good Food Award Winner, is a hearty, sweet-and-savory combination of onions, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and a little cassis liqueur. Her Plum Chutney combines raisins, onions, and of course plums, in a rustic blend spiced with mustard seed, garlic, and ginger.

Like their cousins—jams, marmalades, and preserves—confitures are sliced fruit or vegetable combinations, slow cooked in sugars. Fruits are cut thickly and retain their shape in confitures, making for a more substantial, textured spread than most jams and preserves. Their thick-bodied quality makes them ideally suited to spread on crackers and breads or to combine with cheeses for a whip-up-in-a-snap tasty nibble or sandwich. For lots of good ideas, visit Mimi’s website to see how the confitures can be grilled into a ham and cheese sandwich, spread on flatbread, used as condiments for meats, included on a cheese board, or used to dress up a dish in any number of ways. Find them online or at the Pasta Shop in Berkeley and Oakland.