I’m beginning to think I might be addicted to jam. Yeah, I know how that sounded, but let me say it agin. I’m addicted. To jam.
I’m sure that seems like an over-statement – I like jam, sure, but addicted? C’mon, it’s not so bad. Many other people have worse vices (smoking, drinking), and all I want is a little fruit spread on my toast in the morning. And what’s more, it’s not my fault.
Gosia – my Wife – has lately (and rather suddenly) become interested in preserving fruit. It’s a result of seeing her mother canning fresh apricots in Poland recently, I think, but I’m not complaining. Watching her walk in from the greengrocer with a crate full of fresh plums or a surprise delivery arriving at the door of frozen blackcurrants is quickly becoming the norm here.
This is the kind of hobby I’ll happily support her in. Since her obsession began a few weeks ago she’s converted the under-stairs cupboard into a walk in pantry, hidden all manner of empty jars and bottles in every corner of the kitchen, and filled the cupboard with assorted jam-making paraphernalia (Jam Jar Lifter Tongs, anyone?).
Gosia’s recipe for Apricot Jam uses the kernels (the bit you get out of the stone when you crack it open), which adds a lovely almond like hint of flavour. You can easily omit these, if you prefer.
Recipe: Apricot Jam
Summary: This apricot jam is not too set and yet perfectly sweet and fruity, making it great for everything from toast to baking.
- 1kg Apricots
- 1kg Sugar
- 200ml Water
- Knob of Butter
- 1/2 dozen apricot kernels
- Start by halving the apricots and removing the stones.
- Take a few of the stones, crack them, and remove the kernels. The kernels can be blanched in boiling water, skins removed, and then saved for later
- Add the apricots, water and sugar to a large pan and turn on a low heat, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Keep on a low heat, and as the apricots soften mash them with a potato masher until you have the desired size chunks remaining.
- Next add the butter and slowly begin to increase the heat while stirring constantly.
- As soon as the mixture hits a “full rolling boil” (bubbling away but doesn’t slow down as you stir), start timing for 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat, leave for 10 minutes and then pour into your sterilised jars. Pop 1 of the kernels into each jar, then seal.
This jam will keep for several months in sterilised, sealed jars. If any of the jars fail to seal, you can keep in the fridge for up to a month.
Feel free to omit the kernels, if preferred.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4