June 5, 2013

Apricot Jam

We are nearly out of the latest shipment of my mom's jam, and apricots are showing up at the market, so it seemed an auspicious time to cook up a batch of apricot jam.

The apricot jam I have made in years past is low sugar and quite tart. I started making it when I found myself being driven to penury by a penchant for a similar jam from Hi Rise bakery in Cambridge. Their jam (like everything in the shop) is delicious, but expensive if you eat it frequently.

I couldn't recall what proportion of sugar I used last time I made it, so we tried going with 10% of fruit mass. This makes a very tart apricot preserve, not exactly like what you would think of as jam. Next time I think I would up the sugar content somewhat. Maybe 15%?

Some of the fruit was eaten on the spot.

The girls helped me take pits out and pile apricots into the pot. English muffins proofing in the background.

They also squeezed the lemon over the fruit.

They were amazed to find almond like nuts in the apricot pits.

We sewed some of these into a fabric pouch, to teabag in the jam to give it a little extra flavor.

Ah, its great having the Singer 99 sitting in the built-in china cabinet in the dining room. It is threaded up and ready to go, and takes only a few seconds to whip out and take the cover off. Wireless operation too!

What went into the pot:
  • 3kg quartered apricots, pits and stems removed
  • 300g sugar
  • juice from one lemon
  • 50-100ml liquid (I used hard cider), to help start the cooking
  • nuts from 5-10 apricot pits
Here is the small dose of cider going in for simmering liquid.

We boiled this down while we cooked up the week's load of english muffins.

Everyone wanted to taste frequently.

In fact, several saucers of hot jam were consumed neat (but not neatly, I can tell you) at the counter.

We put the canning kettle on with the first load of jars and utensils in it, while the jam continued to simmer.

Millie helped me can up the jam. We filled 12 small jars in two batches through the canning kettle. 

Our Sunday dinner consisted of fresh hot jam on buttered fresh english muffins.


mssewcrazy said...

That looks so good-may have to find some peaches or berries (no apricots local) and try some jam making. Unfortunately my 3 girls are long since grown up so I will have to work on the project minus the sweet helpers you have there. My grandsons can only stay still long enough to stir up a cake mix if it is a fast effort so will probably pass on them as helpers with the jam.. Lol!

Kimbersew said...

yummy! There is so much to be said for food (or anything!) that's never been on a truck. Do apricots have pectin? thanks for all your posts!

Holly Gates said...

A lot of the recipes online call for extra pectin to be added to the jam, so I don't know how much is in there natively. Its true that this jam is a little lower viscosity than what you normally think of as "jam"; more like preserves. But I'm fine with that, and its still easy enough to extract from the jar and spread on bread with a butter knife.

Sharon K said...

Did you find local apricots somewhere? I love apricot everything, but don't tend to buy them when they're coming from across the country, so just wondering. Your jam looks delicious!

Holly Gates said...

Unfortunately, these were almost certainly not local, which would absolutely have been nicer. I actually can't recall ever seeing apricots at the farmers market, and even if they were they would be a lot later in the season. Could be that conditions around here are not great for commercial growing of apricots.