We’re in the middle of summer here in Melbourne. As I type this, it is a warm and pleasant February Saturday afternoon. February. How is we are already 6 weeks into the new year? I must admit, I feel my year is just beginning. A side effect of my job means January is otherwise occupied and filled with long days that fly by.
This year, I did enjoy, for the first time in many years one or two days off between Christmas and New Year and this just happened to coincide with my Nonna’s apricot tree fruiting. One day my mother arrived with 6kg of Apricots (similar quantities had been given to my aunt and uncle).
Knowing I would not be able to enjoy these fresh, I thought it would be nice to make Jam.
If you haven’t made Jam before, don’t be discouraged. With a bit of care in watching the mixture form, the most difficult part is preparing the fruit. The lemon juice helps the jam form.
This is delicious on toast, or use in savoury dishes like the African chicken drumsticks.
However, this wasn’t the end of my apricot adventure. Still to come: Apricot Chutney; Apricot Sauce and; preserved apricots. I was a bake on a mission!
- 1.5kg Apricots
- 1 .5kg Sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 3/4 cup water
Wash and stone the apricots and cut in half, I kept the skin of the fruit on which. Place some small plates int the freezer.
In a large pot stew, the fruit, water and lemon juice until the apricots are soft. I placed a small spoon in the bottom of the pot to help avoid the fruit sticking to the pot. Alternatively you can grease the pan with butter.
As the apricots soften and break down, add the sugar and bring to the boil, stirring frequently until setting point is reached. Setting point is reached when you place the jam on one of the plates from txhe freezer and as you push it gently it crinkles and somewhat holds it shape.
Spoon the warm jam mixture into steralised jars and seal immediately. I seal all my preserves by firmly tightening the lid and then placing the jam upside down. After a period of time (1-2 hours depending on how hot the jars as) I flip the jars back to the right way up and as the warm mixture moves to the bottom it creates an internal vacuum seal. I always leave the jars overnight and then clean any mess I made bottling with a hot cloth and store in a cool dark place.
Great jam approach! I’ve always submerged the hot jars in a pot of simmering water to seal. (And I love that your January yields fresh fruit!)