Ever since I discovered Confiture Parisienne a couple of years ago, its beautifully packaged jams have been a constant in my kitchen cupboards. Of its 40 or so rotating seasonal recipes, Mara des Bois (€14.90 for 250g) captures the flavours of summer unlike any other strawberry jam, featuring marmande tomato and basil, but my favourite is the tart yet smoky combination of chestnut, pear and tonka bean (€14.90 for 250g), which is perfect for breakfast on the first days of autumn. The recipes rarely use more than four ingredients – one or two seasonal fruits, raw cane sugar and a soupçon of spice – allowing the focus to stay on the delicately distinctive and exquisitely balanced mélange.
Since launching their Paris-made jams from a kitchen worktop in 2015, Nadège Gaultier and Laura Goninet haven’t stood still waiting for jam tomorrow. Single serving pots are still delivered each day to the Hôtel de Crillon by bicycle, but the brand is also expanding internationally, counting Harrods, Selfridges and Bergdorf Goodman among its stockists, and a project in Tokyo is underway. They’ve collaborated with chefs such as Michelin-starred Sylvain Sendra on new recipes and branched into gelées, too, flavoured with teas, wines and champagne. Puits d’Amour (€24.90 for 250g) reigns supreme for me: a delicately fragrant mix of cranberries, raspberries and violets, perfect on a slice of toasted brioche or with a ripe brie.
The burgeoning brand has also relocated to a 300sq m atelier under the historic stone arches of the Viaduc des Arts, near Bastille, which brings me to my new favourite thing about Confiture Parisienne: the only jam factory in the city is now also a boutique and restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The space is gloriously open and airy, with the jam-makers stirring the copper cauldrons visible through the vaulted window. On the day I last lunched there, a mouth-watering fragrance of roasted figs wafted past us as we tucked into the simple and seasonal dishes that, says Gaultier, are based on the fruit and vegetables they receive that day for the jams.
I had a delicious salad of smoked ricotta with roasted cherry tomatoes (€10), while my companion chose spinach leaves, avocado and yellow courgettes, dressed with crushed almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnut oil (€12). We also shared a delectable assiette of French cheeses accompanied by a deep-purple Nuits-Saint-Georges gelée (€7) and, naturally, a glass of Nuits-Saint-Georges (€8) from the Domaine du Château de Prémeaux. Roasted figs made an appearance again for dessert (€7) alongside a coulis of raspberry and dark chocolate, which we shared before adjourning to the tiny outdoor terrace for a last espresso. On the inauguration of the new space, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, tweeted that Confiture Parisienne has “turned jam-making into an art form”. This new venture certainly hits the sweet spot.