Sunday, July 28, 2013

Apricot Jam- sooo summer, so delicious and so versatile

One of the first jams of the summer season. Apricots aren't in season very long.  This jam is easy to make, the ingredients are basic and simple and the jam can be used on toast or on a roast (yes, as a baste!).  Try it and you'll love it.  So will your friends.

This recipe makes 5 250 ml jars.

3     lbs apricots
1     lb sugar
1/2  cup lemon juice

Halve and pit the apricots.  Slice them.  In a large nonreactive bowl, gently toss together the apricots and the sugar.  Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least four hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids.

Transfer the apricot mixture to a large nonreactive saucepan and add the lemon juice.  Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the jam is thick- about 15-20 minutes.

Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.  Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace if needed.  Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.

Process the jars for ten minutes in a boiling water bath.  Remove from the water and allow to cool.  Before placing in a cool, dark storage place, test the lids to make sure they are sealed (the lid will not "bounce" back when pushed in).  Store for up to one year.  If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to one month.

I like to use apricot jam as a baste for poultry or grilled fish.  A 250 ml jars should provide just enough jam for a few pounds of meat or fish.  I also like to add spices directly into the jars before sealing them: ginger (candied or fresh); star anise; curry powder; cayenne pepper, etc... add a little spice, then sample before adding more... Enjoy!