Saturday, 17 May 2008

apricot jam

This is the jam that launched a thpusand ships.
OK. maybe not, but it did launch Pickles & Preserves Week.

I went to visit my high school friend, who has a second gig these days as SuperMum, and was presented with a pretty jar of apricot jam.

Well, if Suzy can make jam with a bub crawling about in the background, then surely I can make some jam too?

The very next weekend I went jam crazy and haven’t looked back.

This morning Jonas and I bought some delectable croissants from the bakery across the street and enjoyed Suzy’s apricot jam in its purity.

Apricot jam is my favourite jam. It’s sweet and fruity but never cloying.

This recipe, from Australian cook Stephanie Alexander, is a winner!

Apricot Jam
Recipe from the Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander. Makes 5-6 medium jars.
1.5kg apricots, firm-ripe to soft
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1.5kg sugar
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees
2. Wash apricots. Halve or quarter them and remove stones.
3. Wrap half the stones in a napkin and crack them with a meat mallet. Extract kernels and set aside. Discard debris and remaining whole stones.
4. Put fruit, water and lemon juice into a non-reactive saucepan (or copper preserving pan, if you have one) and bring slowly to a boil. Simmer until fruit is just tender, around 20 minutes, or longer if you prefer your jam not to have chunks in it.
5. Meanwhile, put sugar into a clean cast-iron casserole or baking dish and warm it to hand-hot in the oven.
6. Add warmed sugar and reserved kernels to the pan, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then boil rapidly for about 15 minutes or until setting stage is reached (drop a small amount onto a chilled saucer for 30 seconds, run finger through the mixture and if it wrinkles rather it has reached its setting point).
7. Ladle into hot, sterilised jars, distributing the kernels evenly, and seal.


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