Thursday, November 27, 2008

Apricot Jam

Since my last post, I've whipped up two more table runners, with the edging problem fixed. Just waiting for backing fabric to arrive before I can finish them off and post them on here. In the meantime, I've just made a huge batch of Apricot Jam, and want to share (the recipe at least, the jam's all mine!)

Take 1.5kg of apricots. A mix of ripe but firm, and slightly unripe fruit works best. The unripe fruit have a higher level of pectin which helps your jam set better. Give your fruit a good wash, particularly if your supermarket is like mine, and people like to grope the food a little too much...

Cut your fruit up; I find quarters work best. Remove the little bits of stalk from the top, and any major blemishes.

Now is the time to get your jars ready; give them a good wash, rinse, then pop them on a tray and into the oven. I usually have the oven around 140C. At the same time, pop a saucer into the freezer.
Pop your fruit in a pot, and add 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. The juice adds extra pectin to help with setting. Bring to the boil gradually, and cook the fruit until tender, to your liking. Some people like chunky jam, some not so much. I leave mine chunky, but by the time its "jammed", there usually aren't major chunks left.
( Put a chair near the stove so Bella can watch)
When happy with the chunkiness of your fruit, add 1.5kg white sugar.

Stir until is dissolves, then bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for about 15 minutes. Make sure you stir the jam regularly, as apricot has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, and burn. If it does stick, make sure you don't stir these bits up into your jam as they will darken your jam.

Now is the time to check if the jam is setting; this is what the saucer in the freezer is for. Take the pot off the heat, and dollop some of the jam onto the saucer, and put it back in the freezer. Wait a couple of minutes, then check to see if the jam is set. You should be able to drag a finger through the jam without it moving back to the middle. If it isn't ready, boil another minute or two, then test again, until it is ready.
When you are happy that your jam has reached setting point, turn off the stove and get your jars out of the oven. I use a jug and a nifty funnel to fill my jars. Pour jam carfully into jars (don't burn yourself!), and pop the lids on tight. Allow to cool and set.

And look, barely burnt it at all (for a change)! This is where I lick the pot...just make sure you don't burn your tongue!

Now to clean all the sticky marks off my camera.... and isn't Bella such a cutie!