1.5kg fresh apricots, firm-ripe rather than soft
1.5 kg sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
Jam is joyful, jam is useful, jam brings us summer sweetness when it’s grizzly and grey – we love jam. This easy preserving recipe is by Stephanie Alexander. Initially we thought we’d add extra flavours, but the simplicity of three perfect ingredients won out. You may find the kernels are a bit tough to extract, but the subtle flavour they bring is worth the effort! Make a batch this long weekend, you won’t regret it ☀️
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Wash the apricots, then quarter them and remove stones. Wrap half the stones in a napkin and crack them with a meat mallet to extract the kernels – our stones were pretty stubborn, so we ended up using pliers to crack them which ultimately crushed the kernels. If you’re in the same boat, collect the crushed kernels and place them in a piece of muslin you can knot to secure. Set kernels aside and discard debris.
Place sugar in a large, clean baking dish and warm it in oven.
Place a small plate in the freezer, this is to test that your jam has reached setting point later.
Put fruit, water and lemon juice into a stainless steel saucepan (or a copper preserving pan, if you have one) and bring slowly to a boil. Simmer until fruit is tender, about 20 minutes, or longer if you prefer your jam not to have chunks of fruit in it (we did about 35mins).
Add warmed sugar and reserved kernels to pan, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then boil rapidly for about 10 minutes or until setting point* is reached (we reached setting point in just 5 mins).
Ladle or funnel the jam into hot, sterilised** jars, distributing the kernels evenly (if they are still in tact, leave them out if not), and seal.
Enjoy all year round!
Hints and Tips
* To test for setting point, take the saucer out of the freezer and place a teaspoon of the jam (aim for the liquid, not fruit chunks) onto it. Tilt the saucer vertically so the jam runs. You are aiming for a slow descent, not a runny mess. If it runs slow, it’s set! You can also let the spoonful of jam sit on the cold plate for 30 seconds and then push it with your spoon or finger. If it wrinkles up, you’ve reached your setting point.
** Preheat oven to 150°C. Wash the jars and lids thoroughly with hot soapy water, rinse and place upside down on an oven tray. Place in oven and leave for 15-20 min
Recipe by Stephanie Alexander