My paternal grandmother Betty used to make the most incredible apricot jam and I remember the delight I felt as a child finding a more-or-less whole apricot in the jam, and then squishing this on my toast.
I started making apricot jam about 10 years ago and bottled these under the name ‘sams jams’. The friends and family were pleased, but oh what a mission it was to do. I would make about 10 kg’s at a time and boil multiple pots on the stove for hours unable to leave my flat. Due to the scale of the project, I have not made jam since those vintages of 1999 and 2000.
I really do love the concept of preserving, so when I found myself with a massive amount of the most beautiful imported and out of season strawberries after an international TV shoot, there was no way I was not going to convert these treasures into something longer lasting.
I came across a recipe for ‘small batch’ strawberry jam on YouTube and what a win it was. It takes about 20 minutes to make and produces a jam that is so much about the fruit and less about the sugar. I love it.
I followed the recipe using apricots the other night and it worked out perfectly. It’s so easy. I’m planning on buying a little extra fruit each time this summer and making up a quick batch to bottle and give away as gifts.
- 3 cups apricots quartered (about 600gms)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- put all ingredients in a wide shallow pan/ pot on high and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes.
- the wider the better as this facilitates quick evaporation and thus quicker jammification
- to test if the jam is ready, freeze a side plate for 5 minutes. Drop a dolop of jam on the cold plate. Run your finger through the middle. if the jam stays apart and doesn’t immediately join back together, its jammy enough.
- at the same time boil the storage jars in a large pot of water – remove and drain
- scoop the hot jam into the jars and seal
- pop the sealed jars back into the boiling water for 10 minutes (this gets rid of any bacteria etc)
- remove from the pot, drain and allow to cool
…..I couldn’t wait, so I scraped the pan down and spread on a toasted whole-wheat crumpet. So delicious, quite tart, not too sweet.
I still may go back to making apricot jam the way my grandmother did, if only to find the whole apricot again.