Friday, 7 August 2015

Recipe: Apricot jam

I'm posting this for Karen, who asked for the recipe.  It seems daft to write it out for someone but not to share it in here, so here it is!

Apricots are low in pectin so I would advise using jam sugar and maybe also some lemon juice as a belt and braces approach.  I also simmered the fruit in apple juice because apples are high in pectin.  I don't know if it adds much, but I read it somewhere and thought it not a bad idea!

The amounts are variable and I use the tried and trusted pound per pint approach for how much sugar to use.

some ripe and sound apricots
apple juice
jam sugar
lemon juice

Also clean, hot, sterilised jam jars and the lids to match

Prepare the apricots by cutting in half, removing the stone, trimming any 'bits' off and then slicing each half into three or four longways.
Place the prepared apricots in a maslin or other suitable pan with some apple juice - not a lot, just enough to stop the fruit from sticking as it warms up.  Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until the fruit is soft and has released its juices.

Take the pan off the heat and let the fruit cool slightly.  Then pour it into a measuring jug (not plastic) and for every pint of fruit use one pound of sugar.  For example, my fruit came to 15 fluid ounces so I used 12 oz of sugar.  Then tip the fruit back into the pan and add the lemon juice.  How much depends on how much fruit but I guess for my amount I used about 1 tbsp.

Add the sugar and stir well.  Leave it to stand for 15 mins or so and then stir again.  All the sugar should have dissolved.  While you are waiting you can get the jars into a cool oven and two saucers into the fridge (if you test for set that way).

Heat the jam to a rolling boil, stirring well to prevent sticking.  After about ten minutes (or, if you are an experienced jammer, when it looks as if setting point has arrived), take the pan off the heat and apply the wrinkle test (info below) using one of the saucers in the fridge.  It it hasn't reached that point, boil for another five minutes and repeat the test.

When setting point has been reached, skim off any scum (there wasn't any when I made it) and leave to stand for five minutes or so, so that the fruit will be evenly distributed in the jam.  Then carefully pour into the hot jam jars and seal.  I use a funnel and rarely have messy drips down the side of the jars.

Leave to cool, label and store in a cool, dark place.

This is a very useful page for testing for set.  I use the wrinkle test but use whichever suits you best.  My mum always used a thermometer when we were little (she still has it now, I think).

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