Abigail Summers loves jam. The Eden Prairie waitress and hotel worker started Summersalt Kitchens—her jam company—three years ago, after selling to friends and family with success.
Her unique flavor combinations are the tell-tale mark of Summersalt Kitchens. They are inspired by her childhood summers cooking up batches with her family, her own propensity for distinguishing flavors, and her time as a bartender creating cocktails for customers. “I’ve always been really good with flavors,” Summers says, “My brother can make a sauce and, after tasting it, I can tell him every ingredient that’s in it. When making my jams, I kind of just find a basic recipe and adjust it so I have a flavor I want.”
You won’t find any “mainstream” flavors in Summers’ cupboard, though. “My dad likes to call them ‘artisan’ jams,” she says.
Flavors—which rotate throughout the season—include creative combinations such as raspberry maple and blueberry vanilla, and cocktail-inspired ones including lemon basil marmalade and Cape Cod cosmo jam. Among Summers’ most popular flavors are mango habanero, blackberry ginger and raspberry lemon drop. “I really just like to have fun,” she says. “I made a lot of creative cocktails bartending, and I tried to turn those into jam.”
Although she no longer is a bartender, she does work two jobs and was busy planning her wedding last month, which has added up to a busy season of jam-making. “It takes up a lot of time,” she says. “It’s an hour to make a batch, an hour to clean up beforehand and another hour at the end to put everything away. But it’s fun. I like it.”
Find Summersalt Kitchens at Edina’s Centennial Lakes Farmers Market on Thursday nights or at Calhoun Square Farmers Market in Minneapolis on Friday nights. Details on the website here.