Sunday, July 20, 2008

Apricot Jam Session

On a recent working trip to California, I had promised a friend that I would bring back some apricots. Since I was staying in Irvine, my old stomping grounds, I knew the area well and was able to walk to a nearby natural foods market. However, when I asked the produce guy why there weren't any apricots he told me that although it was apricot season he just didn't have any. So I made my way to a local grocery store which was about another mile and a half away. It was a beautiful southern California day and I had the company of another crew member so the walk was enjoyable as well as productive.

My apricot mission was a success and I ended up bringing back a little over three pounds of apricots which to my surprise made it home with only a few bruises. My friend and I decided that we would combine our efforts and make apricot jam. We thought that this would be the best way to prolong our apricot bounty.

I love having apricot jam on hand as it works perfectly for coating cake layers and tarts. The nice thing about making apricot jam is that there is very little prep work. Removing the pits and crushing the fruit is they only thing you need to do before cooking it.

I used five cups of crushed apricots combined with 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Add one box of pectin and bring to a boil. When fruit comes to a rolling boil, add 7 cups of sugar all at once and bring to a boil again. Boil for one minute and remove from heat and place in hot sterilized jars. Be sure to check your pectin recipe insert because the recipes vary depending on the brand of pectin that you use.

Cooking the apricots and pectin.

One of the best tips for making sure your jars seal, is to be sure you wipe down the rims before placing the lid and rings on. There's nothing more satisfying then hearing the popping of the lids as they begin to seal.

We had so much fun making the apricot jam that we decided to make peach and blackberry jam the next day. We used fresh peaches from our local farmer's market and some blackberries from my CSA.

The end result - a cupboard full of jam!

1 comment:

Steph said...

These look great!