Saturday, June 9, 2012

The simplest apricot jam

I made this photoset to reassure a friend the other day, but it may as well also be shared with the internet at large! A small batch of the absolute plainest apricot jam is a fun project to break up a weekend—it only takes a little bit of attention each day, and the result is delicious and fresh-tasting and tart and intensely apricot-flavoured. You will need apricots, sugar, and lemons.

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1. First find some apricots! A little underripe is best; ripe is adequate though not ideal; overripe is not worth the trouble.

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2. Wash them thoroughly and chop them as you desire. I cut mine into lengthwise eighths and then into wedges about 1/8" thick. If you are troubled by apricot skins, you can blanch the fruit and peel it first; I find them soft enough that I don't notice their presence in the finished jam.

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3. Measure the volume of chopped fruit. Add to it the juice (& optionally the zest) of one lemon per cup of fruit, and three-quarters of the fruit's volume in sugar.

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4. Heat the fruit-and-sugar mixture gently until it just barely reaches a boil—the combination of heat and sugar will draw out a lot of liquid. Remove it from the heat, cover, and let it rest in the fridge for at least six hours and up to 48.

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5. After its rest in the fridge, strain the chunks of fruit out of the thick golden syrup that's developed, and remove them to a bowl. Pour the syrup into a pot and put it back on the heat. Bring to a full boil and keep it there until...

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6. ... the syrup has reached its gelling point, 4° C above boiling. Check this without a thermometer by dipping a spoon into it and watching how the syrup drips off. The syrup is done when it sheets off the spoon, pictured above—the drops will be thick and slow-moving, clinging to each other and the spoon. Add the strained fruit back to the syrup, return to a boil, and cook for five more minutes.

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7. Transfer the jam to sterilized jars and process them in a boiling water bath following these directions. Or just pour it into a clean jar and keep it in the fridge if you plan to eat it in the next few months.

3 comments:

Jules said...

Thanks- this sounds like a great way to keep the apricots from turning to mush! I'll definitely be trying it next summer!

cauchy09 said...

ooh, thanks for the link and for the tutorial! i must try this some time.

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